The Gettysburg Yard Club, via its Yard of the Thirty day period committee, offered the June Backyard garden of the Thirty day period award to Chuck and Donna Criswell of 55 Millhimes Highway, Gettysburg, according to a garden club launch.
A number of miles north of Gettysburg and a minimal east of Hunterstown is a stunning property comprising about 11 acres, a colonial-type home, and intensive gardens. 1 arrives at the Criswells just after passing as a result of some verdant woods and an outstanding horse farm wherever standardbred trotters are elevated. Then, turning onto Millhimes Road, a single shortly sees why Nancy Spalding, Donna’s mom, nominated the residence. “Just gorgeous,” she says proudly.
Chuck Criswell grew up in the Hanover area. However, his father purchased the land in the vicinity of Hunterstown in 1965, wherever Chuck’s and Donna’s assets now sits. Then it was simply just a farm field with trees and stone outcroppings. Chuck identified through exploring his ancestry that he has 18th-century roots in the spot. He also has developing and landscaping abilities in his palms and head, setting up with functioning together with his father and, as a baby, performing fortunately in a yard centre.
Chuck is an ardent American history buff and a garden and residence designer and maker. “Everything is in my head,” he claims of his total and individual house eyesight. Donna has supported her husband’s creations for 14 yrs or so. This earlier January, she retired as cafeteria manager for the district’s elementary universities. Chuck retired 7 decades back from his entire-time do the job at Kinsley Design, Inc. Equally are devoted to the maintenance and ongoing development of their home.
At the front of the assets are quite a few sections of riding rail fence created to 18th-century requirements. A choke cherry in a backyard bed grows in the vicinity of the fence. Down the mild slope to the dwelling are much more yard ‘islands,’ all nicely mulched and surrounded by very carefully-tended garden. Trees and vegetation such as birches, ornamental plums, crepe myrtle, baptisia, bluestem grasses, cat’s pajamas, and daylilies, to name a couple, increase here. By portion of the entrance entrance to the dwelling are deep magenta leafed sand cherries set off by yellow gold mound spirea. The front and aspect landscapes element numerous prairie fireplace crab apples, dogwoods, Chase trees, five-color redbuds, sweet gum, and white oak, to name a few. To the side, the Criswells have planted a tidy, rectangular vegetable and herb backyard with lifted beds inside an unstained recycled picket fence.
Handsome characteristics of the ‘hardscape’ are the fine curving brick drive and walkways all laid by Chuck. After browsing Williamsburg and researching colonial architecture and gardens, he created the Criswell dwelling and its two back porches with a bit of support in framing from Amish builders. Ready to use some of Kinsley’s development equipment at ‘off’ occasions, Chuck moved massive rocks all over the landscape, produced an ‘aha’ aspect on the entrance slope, and positioned garden islands as guided by his designer’s eye. To appreciate also in the ‘hardscape’ are sometimes whimsical accents these kinds of as stone or steel sculptures, colonial fashion towers or ‘tutors,’ and lots of birdhouses, some produced of wood, some of the gourds, and some ‘clay bottle’ forms. Chuck has designed quite a few replicas of what appeals to him and Donna, in addition to finding ‘perfect’ goods at profits.
There are about two dozen backyard ‘islands’ or beds filled with well-decided on plants, effectively mulched generally from Nolt’s Mulch and edged by Donna. Each and every island is entire in alone, no matter whether in direct sunlight or shade and flows as an integral section of the Criswell’ sea.’ Below is a profusion of crops, numerous received from ‘plant auctions’ and nurseries in Lancaster County (East Earl). Shade, variety, and texture are wonderfully knit alongside one another.
Extra crops in the gardens, in no specific purchase, include birch trees, environmentally friendly huge arborvitae, Stella d’Oro lilies, oakleaf, and firelight hydrangeas. There are also hostas, blue sea holly, globe thistle, attractiveness bush, sweet corn spirea, coppertina diablo, Liatris, hyssop, cone flowers, Japanese firegrass, German iris, and purple crocosmia. Chuck advises gardeners to plant a person portion at a time, planting (or envisioning) in threes.
In 2015, a back garden club member wrote that a couple of photographs and words and phrases ended up not more than enough to describe the Criswell home and gardens. She was correct, and in 2022 this author encourages you to arrive, appear, admire, and study. Chuck and Donna are usually at house and welcome guests.
To nominate your residence or somebody else’s for the Yard of the Thirty day period award, get in touch with or textual content Deb Steckler at 717-357-3623 or go to the backyard club’s internet site at www.gettysburggardenclub.com.