A kid-friendly haven and more great gardens on the 2012 tour

By Paul Harris

A garden is usually just a collection of plants. The Fisher family garden, which is featured in the 24th annual Extension Master Gardeners’ Garden Tour, is a collection of activity and memories. There’s some vegetation thrown in, too. 

If Karla isn’t enjoying the peacefulness and the color of the flowers, the grandkids are trying to hit their Wiffle balls over the fence, or Steve and his daughter are tending to his plants. The Fisher garden is also filled with Karla’s childhood swing and tricycle, an old wagon hub, and the pond that Steve and his daughter built nearly 19 years ago.

Steve’s passion for gardening carried over from working on the farm in Meade with his grandpa and mom. His grandfather had 5 acres of corn and an orchard.

He worked as a Riley County Extension agent for five years before the couple moved to Ness City. His garden comprises plants that were given to him by his mother, Karla’s mother, family friends, and his children’s schoolteachers. From Ness City, they brought limestone posts, which were incorporated in their most recent design.

Steve and Karla moved into the house in 1977, but prior to it becoming their garden, it first had to become their yard. Located on the site of the old Stagg Hill Golf Course, the yard was covered in prairie grass and golf balls. As Steve reseeded the grass, he said he uncovered golf ball after golf ball.

From there Steve turned their yard into a vegetable garden, where they grew tomatoes, green peppers, and onions. The children used to pick the vegetables right off the stem.

A lone tomato plant and a collection of lettuce, rosemary, and basil

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