conley6.gif (2529 bytes)


In full bloom
Enderis Park resident grows motherís garden at family home

By CANDACE DOYLE

May 2006

Mary Moritz shares credit for her spectacular garden with Mother Nature ... and her own mom. Thatís because Moritz lives in the home she grew up in. And her motherís green thumb gave birth to the garden Moritz now tends. "Even when I was a kid, my mom had a garden," she remembers. "But I sort of enlarged it."

Moritzís colonial-style home in the Enderis Park neighborhood sits on a typical, rectangular city lot. Typical, that is, except for the volume and variety of plants and shrubs that make neighbors pause. In the front yard, Moritz planted annuals around some shrubs and has some planted pots of geraniums on the porch. "Then, I have plants next to my back porch stoop, and I have plants all along the side of my door," she adds.

There are also flower beds all along the back lot line and a wall that separates her yard from her North 68th Street neighbors. What youíll find in her garden are annuals and perennials ó and lots of varieties of both. "Typically, I try to grow things that will grow well in the Wisconsin weather," she says. Those plants include black-eyed Susans, Veronicas and purple Cone Flower.

"I have a big pine tree in the back corner," she describes. "Under that, I have lilies of the valley. Every year, I try to do something a little different, particularly with the annuals ... I might do a different color combination."

Moritz has maintained her motherís regal lilies on the side of the house. "And thereís a large rose bush along the back wall that was my momís, a climbing rose," she says. That reddish-pink bush, called a Seven Sister rose bush, goes well with the red and white color scheme she uses to border the flower beds in the back, but Moritz believes no one hue dominates. "I have just a real medley of colors," she says.

For instance, she has white zinnias, yellow marigolds and purple petunias. "Then I always use a purple-blue Rhea salvia," she says. "I think you could liken that to an English cottage garden."

Although Moritzís family always maintained a garden, she became more involved in it when she retired 10 years ago as an occupational therapist at St. Lukeís Medical Center. Once planted, the garden doesnít take up that much of her time ó about five to six hours a week, she estimates. "I try to have most of it planted by the beginning of June, all the annuals," she says. "Iím probably out there a bit every day, sort of dead-heading things."

She starts planting in mid-May. "Before that, I do have some bulbs in the garden ó tulips and daffodils ó along the side and in the front," she says.

Moritz, a self-taught gardener, says the garden throughout the summer has color and flowers of interest. But late July or early August is when itís in full bloom, and time for Moritz to enjoy it. Moritz says she takes as much joy in working the garden as in viewing it. "I really get a great satisfaction from it," she says. "I like seeing things grow. I really do. I always say if I move from the house into a condo or something, I have to have a place to grow things."