conley6.gif (2529 bytes)

 


The lure of nature
Moon Valley Farm is a slice of paradise, hidden in the hills of the town of Erin

By AMY SIEWERT

 

The balcony of the coupleís studio is just one spot to sit and enjoy the view. A flagstone path leads to the front porch of the home. The couple chose to install a soft path for playing yard games with their family and friends. Melody Narrís cottage garden surrounding the white picket fence lends a sense of whimsy to the area. "Itís my baby," she says with a smile. The "living retaining wall" in the foreground abuts the driveway. "We didnít want a stark retaining wall, but rather something living with color. Itís filled with surprises through the year as to what will start growing next," says Tim Narr.


A sense of calm seems to take over when you head up the steep, winding drive to Moon Valley Farm. At the top of the hill is Melody and Tim Narrís home, with a breath-taking view of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The first thing you want to do is plop down in one of the Adirondack chairs and put your boots up. Itís the perfect place to watch the sunrise and, later, the moon, peeking over the horizon.

"We love the moon rise. We can see it come up over the valley," says Melody Narr. "We sit out on the Adirondacks and watch it."

The six-acre property is a small slice of heaven in the town of Erin. "We always wanted to live near Holy Hill," says Narr. The couple moved into the home in 2000, after the previous homeowner contacted them to see if they would be interested in purchasing the place. "The property found us, we didnít find the property," says Narr.

Owners of LandWorks Landscape Services in Sussex, the Narrs went to work on the property, adding a koi pond, two waterfalls, several gardens and a chicken coop. Underbrush and invasive species such as mustard garlic, buckthorn and honeysuckle were cleared away to make room for native plants and flowers.

A beautiful field is adjacent to the property with a mowed path around the perimeter for early morning walks with the dog. A fire pit was constructed in the backyard near the vegetable garden amongst the tall trees. "Thatís where you really catch the sunsets," says Tim Narr.

The homestead quickly turned into hobby farm starting with a stray cat finding a new home. That led to chickens and ducks and, for a while, a pot-bellied pig. The Narrs constructed a chicken coop for their new pets along with a fenced-in area to keep out the predators.

"I like the open spaces and fresh air, the peaceful sounds of nature living on a hill," he says.

"We love to watch the seasons, thereís always something changing. Itís full of surprises," adds Melody. 


The Moon Garden in the foreground was named for the white and pastel plants that glimmer in the evening. The perfectly round patio was constructed with Tumbled Valders stone and resembles a full moon. The Narrs constructed the small house in the background that is currently used as a potting shed with plans to convert it into a summer bedroom.



 

 

The Adirondack chairs provide the perfect place to watch the sun or moon rise. Native Black-eyed Susans surround the open space, staying in bloom for six-to-eight weeks. The Narrs also planted ornamental grasses and Viburnum in the area to help hold the slope just beyond the open space.

The Oconomowoc River can also be seen from the hilltop.


 

 

 


It feels like youíre in a fairy tale when you walk through the garden gate adorned with Morning Glory and Cosmic Melody Clematis. "Itís a functional and ornamental garden with cutting flowers and vegetables," says Melody Narr. The Zinnias planted around the perimeter attracts butterflies to the space.



The koi pond off the porch was a labor of love for Tim Narr. The area consists of two waterfalls connected by a creek to the koi pond. "We often call the patio Ďthe islandí because water encompasses it on three sides," he says. "We love to eat out there. Itís one of our favorite places to enjoy dinner in the summer," adds Melody Narr.