Meeting Nancy K. Meyer

Nancy K. Meyer is the queen of Hostas and rust! Her name will be familiar to any who haunt our Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and she’s especially known for her creative photo collages of the gardens. On her family farm, she can actually ‘shop’ the barns, finding rusty tools and farm implements to decorate her gardens in southeast Iowa.

Her favorite plants are hostas as you will see here. You will also see that each rusty decoration or tool has a story. When she’s not gardening, she enjoys reading, church activities, getting together with her friends and going to the grandkids games. Her husband, Ron, helps with many projects that show his talents as well as his devotion to his creative spouse.

This bike was mine as a young girl and my husband made sunflower from old machinery parts, and the old kettle is from a dear older neighbor.

"This bike was mine as a young girl and my husband made sunflower from old machinery parts, and the old kettle is from a dear older neighbor."

Nancy says, “Ron and I were high school sweethearts and will be married 50 years this November 2012, living in the same county in SE Iowa all our lives. We have two daughters: Rhonda & Roxanne, and two grandchildren, Ashtyn and Logan,…all living close by in Iowa.”

“I retired in May 2010 as a teacher’s aide with special ed students. Ron still farms, he says to support me and my ‘habits.'”

My "flower bed"

My "flower bed" ~~ is a close to 'flea market' item as I can get !!!

“I found the bed frame in an ‘antique mall’ ~~ wanted to get the price down and the man said “you know the side rails are missing, and everything in the booth is 50% off already”, I said I didn’t need the side rails, into the car truck it went, husband made the frame, painted the bed blue to match the trim on the big machine shed and the rest is history. Planted with hostas and sedum. Lab puppy is in memory of our dear OGGY we had for 12+ years, Nancy explains.

She says, “We both grew up on farms and started farming ourselves in 1966. Ron crop farms raising corn and soybeans and raised hog for over 30 years. We lived on Ron’s grandmother’s rented farm for 29 years and I just had annuals in pots, not one perennial.”

Several of my hostas from May and June, I have over 100 different kinds.

"Several of my hostas from May and June, I have over 100 different kinds."

“In 1993, we moved to the farm we live on now and own. I fell in love with hostas and now have over 100 different varieties. As I made my Hosta beds, I added pieces of our farming past –old plows, pump, kettles, iron wheels, my childhood bike, girls trikes, plus my parent’s bowling balls, Aunt’s wringer washer, etc. to my gardens. I did not realize so many other gardened with rust until I found my kindred spirits at FMG.”

Nancy paints barn quilts which are hung on her barns and given to friends.

Nancy also paints barn quilts which are hung on her barns and given to friends.

"This is a collage of my favorites things that inspired me from FMG last summer."

"This is a collage of my favorites things that inspired me from FMG last summer."

Nancy is experimenting with rusting a canning ring wreath, an idea she saw on FMG.

Nancy is experimenting with rusting a canning ring wreath, an idea she saw on FMG. Looking good!

Two blue trikes in a garden bed were my daughters’ ‎ It takes Ron over 4 hours on the 52in. deck rider to mow the grass. This is my Park --7 garden hoses from the nearest water!!!

"Two blue trikes in a garden bed were my daughters’ ‎ It takes Ron over 4 hours on the 52in. deck rider to mow the grass. This is my Park --seven garden hoses from the nearest water!!!"

My aunt's wringer washer in my 'park.'

"My aunt's wringer washer in my 'park.'"

"The 'rust' sign on the barn door by my back door. Will have to put it a little higher in the spring as the hostas grow tall and would cover it where it hangs now."

"The 'rust' sign on the barn door by my back door. Will have to put it a little higher in the spring as the hostas grow tall and would cover it where it hangs now."

"I grew up on a farm, still live on one and like to decorate with rust. Pulley from the hay fork used on my dad's farm to raise hay bales up to the loft of the barn. Barn Door in upper left from my dad's barn, too."

"I grew up on a farm, still live on one and like to decorate with rust.

“This old Pulley from the hay fork used on my dad’s farm to raise hay bales up to the loft of the barn. The barn door in upper left from my dad’s barn, too.”

You may notice that Nancy is also ‘queen of the collage’. She’s an excellent photographer and combines her photos in delightful ways, adding decorative borders to really highlight certain pictures. Do you think she’s trying to get around the “two photo at a time” rule? ;-)

"Just some of my garden cement, yes the deer is cement, Hosta leaf lady bug, angel, est. 1998, Grams & Papa all cement and I put them in storage every winter."

"Just some of my garden cement, yes the deer is cement, Hosta leaf lady bug, angel, est. 1998, 'Grams & Papa' sign... all cement and I put them in storage every winter."

"A collage from photos taken earlier this spring, I garden w/ Hostas and Rust. Most of my rust has a family farm story related to it."

"A collage from photos taken earlier this spring, I garden w/ Hostas and Rust. Most of my rust has a family farm story related to it."

This is Nancy’s definition of her gardening style, “I garden with hostas, rust, and history. Oh, now Blue Bottles, too.”

"A study of Frost in the Gardens."

"A study of Frost in the Gardens." Nancy shows her artistic side with her photography.

Nancy's 'park' several hundred feet from her house, neatly mowed by husband, Ron!

Nancy's 'park' several hundred feet from her house, neatly mowed by husband, Ron!

“We have one rule for my gardens–they can NOT get in the way of Ron’s riding lawn mower. He mows, I hoe!”

How can we ever forget this motto, Nancy? We’re all looking forward to the return of longer days and the warmth that Spring brings, especially to Nancy’s garden! ~~ Sue

See more of Nancy’s photos:

9 Comments

9 thoughts on “Meeting Nancy K. Meyer

  1. Jeanne Sammons

    Oh, Nancy! I love your garden style! Your ‘blue heaven!’ & all your rust & history! Hosta’s are a fave of mine, too…I lost our huge Maple tree a few yrs back right by the house …so I’m finding new homes for Hosta’s constantly! Love your collage pics…my fave here in this blog is the ‘Winter one’…absolutely gorgeous! Thanks, Sue, for sharing Nancy here!

  2. Debbie

    Beautiful, I love the hosta’s, will they grow in very hot heat in the summer?

  3. Just like you Nancy, interesting and colorful!!!! I have never had any luck with those big beautiful and lush hostas that you so magnificantly grow, so thank you for sharing yours for us to enjoy. Your creativity is to be admired and peeking into your photos allows us all to feel like we are at “home”…I am so happy to call you my gardening”bud”

  4. Nancy K. Meyer

    Here, in SE Iowa the hostas look their best in May, June , and the first part of July. Late in the summer they look a little ‘ratty’ or tired if we are short rain, with timely rains they look go till August dog days. I have good shade in my park under evergreen trees, older ones –limbed up. I push them in some sun, too. My thought is they will thrive or die. And, yes, I have lost some. But I love their compact round shape and the many varities you can pick from.
    Thanks, for the kind words, I am so very glad I found FMG and all these wonderful people and now new friends.

  5. Nancy you sure have your hands full with your wonderful gardens and creativity! I am a hosta lover too! I brought my hostas with me from my last house because I just couldn’t let them go. I don’t know the names of mine but I enjoy them. I want to keep adding more to my shade garden and there is a plant outlet store by me that always has different ones each year. They are small ones but at $1-$2 each that’s okay by me ;) Oh and I love your rust. I have had my eyes opened to all the different kinds of rust one can collect and I am now on the prowl for rust and totem items for my garden. I too love all the wonderful FMGers here and their sweet spirits, like yours Nancy <3

  6. Marie Niemann

    You have such a wonderful yard with so much beauty surrounding you. I love the Hosta’s and think after seeing these that I’ll give them a try. I do have a lot of shade so hopefully they’ll be happy. Love love love the rust and history and how creative you have arranged everything. You are such an inspiration to everyone on FMG!!

  7. Nell Howard Stelzer

    I love Nancy’s gardens and park ! I remember Nancy most by her collages which she shared where and how to do them. I have learned that little “way around two pic limit”from Nancy ! I think Nancy has something form every type of gardening that we have here. I love the history from using her family’s cherished treasures . I love her latest additons,Blue Heaven and Sal ! I enjoyed reading all about Nancy,great work Nancy and Sue !

  8. Kirk Willis

    Nancy, You INSPIRE me with your creativity and talents! You have given me so many ideas for my to-do list. Your gardens and creations are BEAUTIFUL! I could spend hours and hours touring your beautiful yards! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR BARN QUILTS TOO!!!!

  9. Marylee

    Nancy, Your gardens and photos are beautiful! I have always enjoyed seeing Jeanne’s and Kirk’s gardens on the Garden Web and now I have your gardens to enjoy as well. Marylee

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