Holmes County Garden Tour by Every Woman’s House

Earlier this week I saw a post on Facebook by Beth Beechy, of Winesburg, regarding this year’s Holmes County Garden Tour. Beth is one of the founder of Circle of Friends and has a blog on the organization’s web site at Beth Beechy – Confessions of a Peace Lover. So early this morning, before the tour began, I headed over to one of this year’s tour locations near Mt. Hope, Ohio.

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This is the sixth biennial tour orchestrated by Every Woman’s House, a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to assisting women who are in abusive situations. Every Woman’s House purpose is to help build healthy and peaceful families and communities. Proceeds from the garden tour will be used to further their endeavors on behalf of women who live in the area.

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I drove to one of the homes on the tour that is located on County Road 616, just north of Mt. Hope, Ohio, and is owned by the Troyer sisters. When I walked up to the house I was stunned by the beauty of the place. Lydia Ann Troyer greeted me on the back porch with a friendly smile. I asked her “Iss des vie Himmel goocht”? (Pennsylvania Dutch for: Is this what heaven looks like?). I told her who I was and she was very receptive to chatting with me and letting me take some pics of their beautiful grounds. Lydia Ann lives in the house along with her two sisters, Effie and Clara. They’ve owned the house for twenty-five years and love gardening. This is the first year they’ve been in the garden tour. Apparently a friend of theirs mentioned their place to someone at Every Woman’s House, hence they are in the tour this year. It’s a good thing at that, what an absolutely LOVELY place for others to experience.

Lydia Ann said they have all kinds of flowers including petunias, begonias, tree lilies, marigolds, clematis, and gladiolas. They’ve also got a garden of thriving vegetables which includes cucumbers, soybeans, peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, and kohlrabi, a member of the cabbage family (something I’ve never heard of). The property has a small shed plus a greenhouse, where the sisters have heirloom seeds for all their vegetables, and plenty of birdhouses.

When I asked Lydia Ann whether keeping up their plants and garden is a lot of work, she immediately assured me that it was. When I told her “who I belonged to” (my family line) she said she thinks we are related somewhere up the line. Of course that’s not too surprising in Holmes County. My ancestral line includes Troyers, Schlabachs, Hostetlers, Hershbergers, Mullets, Erbs, and so on.

This year’s tour included five residences located in Big Prairie, Fredericksburg, Glenmont, and Mt. Hope. I didn’t have time this morning to visit any of the other places but I sure was glad I was able to stop by the Troyers. As I’m writing this article at home this morning, I showed my mother, also an avid gardner, the pics from my trip this morning. I’m planning a trip back to the Troyer’s with my mother!

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