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
“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…. ”
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.”
“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.
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.
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!
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.”
“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.
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.”
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: