It's taken 25-years to turn her yard into a picture of summertime beauty. But Carol Kraemer still remembers the flower that turned her thumb green, an evening primrose given from a friend.
That perennial gift has bloomed into an absolute passion that never gets boring, "every time you come out it's different. It's tulips in spring, then the irises and moves onto the lilies and then my favorite, the day lilies which are coming in," Carol says.
Parts of their half acre are now covered with countless flowers. There's a neatly manicured lawn, too. Carol's husband gets the credit for that and the structures, like the wooden pergola attached to the house.
It's no secret having a landscape like this takes a lot of time. Carol estimates 15-hours of her week. Work that doesn't stop when the landscape is covered in snow.
Carol says, "you look through catalogs all year and I have a map of things, so sometimes in winter I'll just clean the map up a little bit."
But, it's all worth it. Because, at least this time of year, Carol has no need to head to a tropical island for R&R.
"I like the peace and quiet. I like the getting away. It's as if I'm on a vacation in my home."
CAROLS TIPS FOR A GREAT GARDEN:
Plant different flowers that bloom at different times of year.
Use plants of different heights.
Beware of quickly spreading plants.