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TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2007
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Koi fish swim in the McCulloughs’ rock-lined pond with a fountain statue and grapevine.
Daily photos by John Godbey
Koi fish swim in the McCulloughs’ rock-lined pond with a fountain statue and grapevine.

experience
nature through
an artist’s eye

See this and 9 other locations on Lawrence County garden tour

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

Jane McCullough uses the same artistic flair in choosing flowers to plant in her garden that she does for creating paintings, stepping stones and other objects.

She mixes a bit of this color and a dab of that plant and blends it all into a picture-perfect scene.

She and her husband, Tommy Wayne McCullough, created a series of gardens connected by pebbled paths around their house off Gordon Terry Parkway.

You can take a look at their gardens and nine others to get ideas for your own Saturday afternoon during the Lawrence County United Way Garden Tour.

Designing plenty of gardens and outdoor living areas around a swimming pool and fishpond is important when 15 family members gather there regularly (35 when her sisters’ families join them).

These tiles were brought home by the McCulloughs from trips abroad. They turned them into garden stepping stones.
These tiles were brought home by the McCulloughs from trips abroad. They turned them into garden stepping stones.
Many of McCullough’s flowers and shrubs are pass-along plants from friends and relatives.

“Sharing — that’s the way to do it,” she said.

Along with painting, she was enjoying gardening as a “relaxing hobby” before she retired from the General Motors (Saginaw) plant.

“Many of us have seen gardens through a landscaper’s eye, or the wondering eye of a child, but it is a rare privilege to walk through a garden designed from an artist’s perspective,” said Loretta Gillespie, who helps coordinate this annual tour and will have her own garden open, too.

“Jane’s creative use of color, texture and shape are captivating, and the play of light in her garden is almost like looking at one of her paintings,” Gillespie said. “You will want to bring a camera or maybe even your sketch pad.”

Their residence, and those of their three children and seven grandchildren, all are located on the land where his grandmother grew up, about seven miles from Moulton.

Her favorite plants, she thinks, are her boxwoods, some of which were dug and moved from her parents’ house when they built this one about 13 years ago.

“But I can’t resist any plant, and digging in the dirt is close to God and what he’s given us,” she said.

Many of her garden areas feature hostas, ferns and other shade plants, with monkey grass instead of the kind you have to mow. In some areas, you’ll see daylilies, Siberian iris, ginger lilies, peonies and Sweet William mingling with forsythia, wild azaleas, Japanese maples and magnolias.

Her roses are red and pink Knockouts, as well as sweethearts and climbers, while her hydrangea varieties include snowflake, oakleaf, mopheads and the new “limelight” variety.

A wisteria-covered arbor makes a cool, shady potting and work area. When traveling, McCullough buys tiles with scenes such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris; back home in her work area, she turns them into larger stepping stones for her garden.

Her husband’s “salad garden” provides them with tomatoes, peppers and squash. Her mint and herbs thrive near a sundial.

In her cutting garden near the house, she grows Shasta daisies, verbena, hollyhocks, four o’clocks, corkscrew willow and more to use in flower arrangements.

Arbor breakfast area at the McCulloughs’ home.
Arbor breakfast area at the McCulloughs’ home.
Across from the rock koi fishpond and waterfall are a table and chairs where they sometimes have breakfast under the grapevine arbor.

Her husband, who is handy with tools, created arbors, arches, benches and tables throughout the gardens, where each area is accented with statues, fountains, iron gates and other garden accessories.

“He prefers to play golf but he’s good to help, and he can build anything,” said McCullough.

The grandchildren’s former playground has given way to a wiener roast and picnic area. Their playhouse remains, but their favorite gathering spot now is the swimming pool. In warm seasons, the family often gets together on the shady back patio cooled with ceiling fans for meals prepared on the grills in the outdoor kitchen, complete with sink.

“Out back is where we really live in the summer,” McCullough said. “We’re sort of the hub, and we have the pool and the food, so they come when they’re hot or hungry. If you go

What: Lawrence County United Way Garden Tour

When: June 2, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: 10 locations in and near Moulton, including the home gardens of Barbara and Clinton Hardin, John and Earline Hardin, Larry and Sue Jackson, Gary and Bernice Givens, Danny and Loretta Gillespie, Tommy and Jane McCullough and Gail and Marcy LouAllen, plus Rustic Gardens, where tickets are available, and Moulton Baptist Church and East Lawrence Memorial Gardens, both serving refreshments during tour hours

Tickets: $5, which benefits United Way of Lawrence County, including the library and other agencies, for sale now at Rustic Gardens, 3011 County Road 173, Moulton, and John’s Bar-B-Que, 15165 Court St., and also at the mini park on the square from noon to 1 p.m. on tour day

Call: Kathy Thrasher, United Way of Lawrence County, 974-5955

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