A “Stroll through the Neighborhood” in Franklin revealed four unique and highly varied backyard gardens.
Gary Kiesel, chief field-trip organizer for the Johnson County Garden Club, led us like a modern-day Pied Piper. We started out near the statue of Benjamin Franklin at Franklin College with about 25 people. As our tour went on, we picked up about 10 more.
The first stop was Ashley-Drake Historic Inn and Garden, a bed-and-breakfast at 668 E. Jefferson St. The home, built in 1897, is owned by Craig and Kim Smith. The house is surrounded by perennial gardens and a water feature.
I asked my friend Jean Fundenberger, who lives in a historic home, what stood out to her in the garden: “I loved the outhouse, which they built to use as garden shed. It’s a necessity to have a tool shed, but they dressed it up to make it a nice garden piece.”
Our next garden was at the home of Joe and Karlee Hougland. It includes perennials, herbs, a large vegetable garden and two water features. Joe invited his father, Steve Hougland, to be on hand, since “he lived here before us and had planted many of the trees — and knows their names.”