Meeting Joy Hale

Joy Hale

Joy Hale

Meet Joy Hale

I met Joy Hale when Jane Krauter, also one of our Flea Folk on the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page introduced me. We arrived on short notice on a busy day for Joy as she readied her large two and a half acre garden for a wedding to be held there soon.  She walked us around and we chatted for awhile. Joy and her husband live in the Central Valley of California among the orange groves between the valley itself and the mountains of the Sierras which they can see from there driveway.  Joy has been hosting weddings in her garden for many years.

Joy and Jane are the only ones from Flea Market Gardening that I have ever met in person! Now take the tour of Joy’s wonderful garden for yourself as she describes it.   ~~ Sue

Springtime in front of pergola

Springtime in front of pergola

“Earth laughs in flowers”.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Springtime in front of pergola. Blue Larkspur, white daisy palodoseum, yellow iris and white iceburg roses. Simple and pretty,”  Joy says, “I am the only gardener here, and have been for the last 30 years.  I planted and planned every plant here. If I need a bigger hole dug that I can’t handle, I have the backhoe man(Joy’s hubbie) take care of digging through the hard pan.. There wasn’t a single plant, driveway or sidewalk when we moved here when I was pregnant with my daughter!”

“It has been a fun but very busy time for me here. Sometimes a very exhausting time, perhaps that is why the relatives named this place Grouchy Acres many years ago…. ”

"Grouchy Acres"

“Grouchy Acres”

In front of pergola

In front of pergola…can you imagine a wedding here?

Joy tells us, “The pergola was made in a couple of weeks and done before the Master Gardener’s of Fresno County Tour in 2007. Some of the lumber was made from castoffs from the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite when they did a remodel.”

"Found" rusty arch with a bench.

“This rusty arbor came from a company going out of business in Modesto and moving back to Texas.” Joy says.

The view from swing.

The view from swing.

The pond ...done in one day!

“The pond …done in one day!” Joy says.

A path in Joy's garden. This Welcome Spring! Contest entry earned her an Honorable Mention.

A path in Joy’s garden. This Welcome Spring! Contest entry earned her an Honorable Mention.

“The rose arbor with the white iceberg roses is the destination for this pathway…. The old wood came from my dad’s old woodpile, the rock pathway came from the top of Kaiser Pass in the Sierra mountain range. I loved those days of collecting!” Joy says.

Seven flats of palodoseums!

Seven flats of palodoseum daisies!

This is a garden designer’s secret: “Seven flats of palodoseums (white little daisy-like flowers) fill up the patio planter and each side of sidewalk all Autumn through late Spring,” Joy confides.

"Come grab a sweater and join us by the fire pit"

“Come grab a sweater and join us by the fire pit”

The fire pit picture is of a “side of a field” steal.  It is of a propane tank that was cut in half and dumped. I convinced Steve I wanted it.  Our welder uncle made a huge grill and lid from it. We use it every fall for potluck, volleyball weekends with the neighbors, friends and family.

Now for some projects!

Herb Garden by garden shed

“Herb Garden by garden shed. This used to be the chicken coop many years ago,” Joy says.  “Never Enough Thyme”

"My bird house, mounted on a stump"

Joy placed a wooden platform planted with flowers on this stump and set a couple very cute and rustic birdhouses on top.

Basket in the walnut tree

Basket in the walnut tree

What to do with a large dead walnut tree? Make it into a large plant hanger!

“I have been playing instead of weeding this past week. This is my latest fun project. I wanted to use our dead walnut tree for something! The basket was found at a rusty metal company going out of business. The picture doesn’t show just how big it really is. It took two of us to lift it into place.”

Transformed wrought iron table

Transformed wrought iron table

“I made this in about an hour…All that was needed was serrated knife, a flat of any moss. I used Isotomia (Blue Star Creeper) and an old wrought iron table that had lost its table top. Can you imagine a larger outdoor table done up with dinner plates and all?” Joy asks.

"Go away"

“Go away”

Joy says,”Most guests don’t ever see this sign that greets you at the front door. They all know to go around to the backyard. Seems to go with our “Grouchy Acres” theme, huh?”

She tells us,”I can’t remember about when I began gardening . I just always liked to make things prettier. I don’t like to be inside. I would eat, sleep and bathe outside if I could. Taking horticulture classes at Reedley College over the years has really taught me a lot.
I know this is my last year of doing weddings here. I want to focus on raised vegetable beds, some fat chickens and rows of boysenberries. Maybe enough produce to have a small fruit stand in the near future.”

Transplanted old climber rose.

“Transplanted old climber rose.”

One more thing I’d like to show is a simple way to make a rose arbor.  Joy took two metal stakes and has them hold up a section of heavy wire fencing.

I enjoyed my tour of Joy’s garden and hope that you all did, too!  ~~ Sue

Now see all of Joy’s pictures:

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11 thoughts on “Meeting Joy Hale

  1. Karen Francisco

    What A Beautiful Labor of love And Divine place to have a wedding…What a wonderful way to share your life…

  2. George

    Great selection of plants. Love the Pergola . I always wanted one covered in wisteria. Looks like the backhoe came in handy in building your wonderful pond.

  3. Joy, you have an absolutely gorgeous place. I love the rows, and rows, of flowers all along your borders. I wish I could get my place to look this lovely.. I love all you have done here and appreciate the fact that it was an evolving project, not all done in one day. Thank you so much for opening your gardens to all of us, so we can enjoy it too.

  4. Jeanne Sammmons

    So beautiful! I am just so impressed with all you have accomplished in your thirty yrs of gardening @ your home! And I am always in awe of gardeners who can grow such lovely, prolific roses! Your arbors are glorious, Joy! Love the log seat & the pond …just everything! I look forward to seeing your ‘Chicks’ & veggie gardens. Thanks for sharing Joy, Sue!

  5. Rebecca Wilson

    When I was reading the sign that says Never Enough Thyme….at first I was reading it as Heaven Enough for me…. and that’s what I was thinking!!! Love, love, love the the rose and the rose arbor.

  6. Ruth Mansfield

    Joy your place is absolutely beautiful . Elizabeth and I will be right over for afternoon tea. Ruth

  7. Kirk Willis

    Your gardens are truly a walk in the park. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING and GORGEOUS!!!! Such a peaceful place… WELL DONE!

  8. Eliane Amorim

    Estou encantada com tanta beleza!!!
    Um grande abraço!!
    Eliane Amorim

  9. susan j konkel


  10. I would love to see it in person. If I ever get to Fresno??? Absolutely beautiful!!!!

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