PLATTSBURGH — Princess and Tricky D. bliss out in their two-acre bit of paradise.
The well-appointed property is one of the offerings on this year’s Kent-Delord House Museum Secret Garden Tour, noon to 5 p.m., July 20, rain or shine.
‘STILL LIKE EACH OTHER’
Tricky D. grew up in West Chazy.
“He had bought this property before we got married,” Princess, New Hampshire-born and Plattsburgh-reared, said.
“A friend of ours owned property down the road. Then we built. We got married Feb. 16. We moved in Feb. 7. That was crazy.”
He’s a Taurus.
“Yeah, he is,” Princess said.
“I’m July. I’m Cancer. I’m the loving one. We’ve been together 33 years, and we still like each other.”
Her use of his tools is a bone of contention.
She likes to weld. He taught her.
She likes to woodwork like her father.
“If you know my husband, he is just a worker,” Princess said.
“He is an organizer. He is compulsive. He is a go-getter. He is the most generous man that you would ever meet. He gives to everyone and everything.”
Their lot was full of trees before they felled them a decade ago.
“We took out all the pines because it was affecting my beds,” she said.
“It was too much acidity, and I couldn’t fight it. They’re very dirty, the pollen and whatnot. So, we moved them all, and then we planted the flowering crabs out front.”
The Florida-bound couple work on their extensive gardens together.
“I live out there literally,” she said.
“That’s my haven. He has to say, ‘Come in, Princess.’ I will go out at 6, and I won’t come in until 6. There are people out there like me. It’s my paradise. It is my domain where I’m happy.”
There are seven beds with thousands of growing things.
“I divide every three years,” she said.
“I have constant replanting. Divide and plant. Divide and plant. I need more pink here. I need more purple there.”
Two weeks ago, irises popped in every single bed and swept down the driveway in a purple haze.
“It’s just breathtaking,” Princess said.
“In about two weeks, this will all turn pink. It’s purples, pinks, whites. That’s the only problem with perennials is the bloom time. That’s why you need multiple varieties so that through each season, you’re having color.”
When the Garden Club members came to ask her to participate in the tour, they caught season’s end.
“They were like, ‘Your garden is still in full bloom,’” Princess said.
“Because I plan for spring, summer, fall. And then, even into October, all my asters come up, which the purples come back again. Purple is like one of my favorites.”
They just bought a home in Florida, so this one is for sale.
Summers they will trek here to their local camp, which has a tiny garden she can weed in five-minutes flat.
St. Joseph is buried beneath their main residence’s front entrance.
“It’s a certain person that’s going to buy this house,” she said.
They are open to accommodating new owners by doing free maintenance on the yard or selling off the plants at a $5-dig-up-a plant sale.
“My plants are huge,” Princess said.
A multitude of florals share space with a legion of creatures — birds, turtles and frogs — that she makes from concrete.
“I’m very obsessive when it comes to something that I get into, as you can see; gardening is one,” Princess said.
“Stained glass is another. Most of all the stained glass in my home and in my garden I have made.”
Princess has poured stained-glass pavers, benches, a sundial and a chess table.
“Last year, I was pouring concrete every single day,” she said.
“Down at camp, I made our fireplace ring. Last year, I put in nine gardens for my friends.”
Along Lake Champlain, she curated three of her neighbors’ gardens.
Her favorite flower is Shasta daisy.
“I can’t grow them to save my life,” Princess said.
SIPS OF BLISS
Every day, Princess sits at her two favorite perches to watch chipmunks scamper, butterflies flit or bees buzz in crabapple tree blooms.
Her gardens flow into each other and are sprinkled with metalwork by a Vermont welder-friend.
Last winter, she got on a bird tear and has a sanctuary of them in her shade garden.
One bed features angels, which her late mother-in-law loved.
Another bed is the kingdom of frogs ruled by Lester, King of the Pond.
“The front bed is a hodgepodge of wonderness, she said.
“You just look and see different things everywhere.”
EXTREME GREEN THUMB
Princess plucked all the rocks truckload by truckload from local farms.
She built four-tiered raised beds from them.
“I can move any plant I want, and it’s going to grow whether it’s in the shade or not shade,” Princess said.
“It’s crazy. The yarrow should be in full sun, and it grows great. The geraniums should be in full sun, it goes great. A couple of plants don’t grow well here because they need more hours of sun.”
PACKING IT IN
Tricky D. keeps the underbrush low on the edges of the property, so the gardens are the focal point.
Last winter, the ice did a number on the evergreens.
“It was cold,” Princess said.
“I’m not doing it again ... 4 o’clock darkness is done.”
Near one impacted shrub, perennial geraniums pop bright and perky.
“They stay like that the whole season,” Princess said.
The best thing they ever did was put an irrigation system in.
No more pulling out hoses.
She grows herbs in a tiered-palette garden along a fence.
“Working with wood is a lot of fun,” Princess said.
“I actually would like to take a carving class. I sit here, and I think my fingerprint is here. And my husband, too, because we both love it.”
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IF YOU GO
WHAT: 2019 Kent-Delord House Museum Secret Gardens Tour.
WHEN & WHERE" Saturday, July 20th from 12 to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The tour features premiere gardens in Clinton County.
COST: Advance tickets are $10 and will be available through July 19th. They can be purchased at the Kent-Delord House Museum and Cook and Gardener in Plattsburgh or from garden club members. Day of the tour tickets cost $15 and will be sold at the Kent-Delord House Museum, Plattsburgh from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Complimentary refreshments will be served at one of the gardens.
NOTE: Proceeds from the Garden Tour will be used to support the work of the Kent-Delord House Garden Club whose mission is to maintain and improve the gardens at the Kent-Delord House Museum.
PHONE: For more information, please contact Nancy 518-561-6793 or Linda 518-643-9486.