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Harmony woman's garden is a labor of love

Mon, Sep 12th, 2011
Posted in Home & Garden

Lori Pfremmers many gardens provide joy for her and her family as well as a variety of wildlife. Photo by Jade Wangen

Lori Pfremmer of rural Harmony has been gardening her entire life. She has been working on her current garden since she moved to the country with her husband Fred six years ago, and it has grown and spread each year. And it still isn't finished.

"We planted everything up here," said Pfremmer of their 82-acre property. "Over the years we have planted about 4-5,000 trees."

Along with many large flower gardens and some smaller vegetable gardens, there is a large pumpkin patch they plant for their eight grandchildren. And along with the home they live in is a smaller cabin that has been fixed up for people to stay in. There is also a flower garden around the cabin.

For Pfremmer, spending time in the garden is a joy, no matter what she is doing out there. She loves flower gardens even more than the vegetable gardens, and she is outdoors whenever she can be, pulling weeds, potting plants in her potting shed, or working on a new garden.

"Working in the garden is not work to me," said Pfremmer. "It's play. When I'm in the house, I just want to get outside."

The gardens that have a path through them are filled with perennial flowers that are hearty enough to take a lot of sunshine and wind. There are black-eyed susans, sunflowers, and autumn joy, and joe-pye weed, as well as many others. And along with the flowers come a wide variety of birds, butterflies, bees, and snakes to enjoy them as well.

"It's a bird heaven here," said Pfremmer. "We have some bluebird houses, but I don't know if they use them. We also get lots of hummingbirds and orioles."

The springtime is the time of the hardest work for Pfremmer and her husband, as she has to mulch the gardens and get the soil ready for the plants. The flowers come back every year, so she doesn't have to plant them, but she does haul in manure for fertilizing. She also lays down wood chips to keep the moisture in, keep the weeds down, and add compost to the soil.

"I don't usually have to water them," said Pfremmer. "I just let the rain do it. Let nature take its course."

The vegetable gardens take more work than the flowers, as they need more weeding. Pfremmer only grows enough vegetables for her family to eat and freezes a few things. Her husband has built some raised gardens for her vegetables and herbs.

Not only does Pfremmer enjoy spending time in her garden working and relaxing, she has devoted each section to a person that was dear to her. There is a special section named after her mother that has pink flamingos in it, because that's what she always had in her garden. There are stepping stones throughout the garden for each of her grandchildren. These decorations, and others, add a personal touch to the natural beauty of the flowers.

Pfremmer said she couldn't do all of this without the help of her husband, who also enjoys working on the gardens. As long as she has the room, she is going to continue enjoying her passion of digging in the dirt and smelling the flowers.

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