Criswells win June Garden of the Month | Home Style

The Gettysburg Backyard Club, by its Backyard garden of the Thirty day period committee, introduced the June Garden of the Thirty day period award to Chuck and Donna Criswell of 55 Millhimes Road, Gettysburg, in accordance to a backyard garden club launch.

A couple miles north of Gettysburg and a little east of Hunterstown is a beautiful property comprising about 11 acres, a colonial-style home, and substantial gardens. 1 arrives at the Criswells immediately after passing through some verdant woods and an remarkable horse farm in which standardbred trotters are lifted. Then, turning on to Millhimes Street, a person soon sees why Nancy Spalding, Donna’s mom, nominated the assets. “Just stunning,” she suggests proudly.

Chuck Criswell grew up in the Hanover spot. On the other hand, his father purchased the land in the vicinity of Hunterstown in 1965, in which Chuck’s and Donna’s property now sits. Then it was merely a farm field with trees and stone outcroppings. Chuck discovered through checking out his ancestry that he has 18th-century roots in the location. He also has making and landscaping skills in his fingers and head, beginning with doing work alongside his father and, as a child, functioning happily in a garden center.

Chuck is an ardent American historical past buff and a backyard garden and property designer and maker. “Everything is in my head,” he suggests of his total and individual home eyesight. Donna has supported her husband’s creations for 14 years or so. This past January, she retired as cafeteria manager for the district’s elementary educational institutions. Chuck retired 7 yrs ago from his total-time work at Kinsley Building, Inc. Both equally are devoted to the maintenance and ongoing growth of their assets.

At the entrance of the property are a number of sections of driving rail fence crafted to 18th-century criteria. A choke cherry in a back garden mattress grows in close proximity to the fence. Down the light slope to the household are additional garden ‘islands,’ all nicely mulched and surrounded by very carefully-tended garden. Trees and vegetation this kind of as birches, ornamental plums, crepe myrtle, baptisia, bluestem grasses, cat’s pajamas, and daylilies, to name a handful of, grow right here. By element of the front entrance to the residence are deep magenta leafed sand cherries established off by yellow gold mound spirea. The entrance and aspect landscapes aspect many prairie fire crab apples, dogwoods, Chase trees, 5-shade redbuds, sweet gum, and white oak, to name a handful of. To the side, the Criswells have planted a tidy, rectangular vegetable and herb backyard garden with raised beds within an unstained recycled picket fence.

Handsome options of the ‘hardscape’ are the wonderful curving brick travel and walkways all laid by Chuck. Right after browsing Williamsburg and researching colonial architecture and gardens, he built the Criswell dwelling and its two back porches with a bit of enable in framing from Amish builders. Equipped to use some of Kinsley’s design equipment at ‘off’ times, Chuck moved massive rocks all over the landscape, created an ‘aha’ attribute on the entrance slope, and placed garden islands as guided by his designer’s eye. To enjoy also in the ‘hardscape’ are often whimsical accents these as stone or metal sculptures, colonial model towers or ‘tutors,’ and quite a few birdhouses, some made of wooden, some of the gourds, and some ‘clay bottle’ varieties. Chuck has designed a lot of replicas of what appeals to him and Donna, aside from locating ‘perfect’ products at product sales.

There are about two dozen backyard ‘islands’ or beds crammed with perfectly-picked plants, properly mulched predominantly from Nolt’s Mulch and edged by Donna. Each and every island is complete in by itself, irrespective of whether in direct solar or shade and flows as an integral aspect of the Criswell’ sea.’ Listed here is a profusion of crops, numerous received from ‘plant auctions’ and nurseries in Lancaster County (East Earl). Coloration, sort, and texture are beautifully knit alongside one another.

Additional vegetation in the gardens, in no unique buy, include birch trees, inexperienced big arborvitae, Stella d’Oro lilies, oakleaf, and firelight hydrangeas. There are also hostas, blue sea holly, globe thistle, magnificence bush, candy corn spirea, coppertina diablo, Liatris, hyssop, cone flowers, Japanese firegrass, German iris, and crimson crocosmia. Chuck advises gardeners to plant one section at a time, planting (or envisioning) in threes.

In 2015, a back garden club member wrote that a handful of photos and phrases were being not enough to describe the Criswell dwelling and gardens. She was proper, and in 2022 this author encourages you to arrive, glance, admire, and find out. Chuck and Donna are normally at residence and welcome people.

To nominate your home or someone else’s for the Backyard of the Thirty day period award, contact or textual content Deb Steckler at 717-357-3623 or go to the yard club’s web-site at