A tour, tips from Better Homes and Gardens’ Test Garden in Des Moines

Greg Stevens

Sandra Gerdes, the manager of Superior Homes & Gardens Check Backyard, is not judging you. 

Indeed, she manages the backyard garden of your dreams — with hostas the dimension of a sprawled-out toddler shade vegetation of multi-diverse colours and styles “Pink Icing” blueberry crops with leaves to make a painter swoon and the happiest of clematis plants greeting the sun. And that backyard has been thriving for two and a half decades, as a result of snow, rain, heat and even the rabbits that are earning it their snack bar this calendar year. 

But Gerdes, a former Iowa farm child, and the backyard aren’t really judging what you do — or you should not do — with your backyard garden. The storied site in downtown Des Moines is highlighted, after all, in “improved” properties and gardens, not “Best” houses and gardens. The vibe of the put is you, only much better.

A blueberry plant grows in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden on June 10, 2022, in downtown Des Moines.

“I opt for to try out to be the homeowner and do what they will do. And say, you know they are not heading to get in below and mussy fussy mussy fussy,” she reported as she gave Sign-up photographer Kelsey Kremer and me a tour about the garden’s winding paths, which element sunlight-drenched and shaded locations crammed with swoon-worthy perennials. “I am just going to see what will materialize.”

You can see what happened in Kremer’s wonderful shots exhibited with this report. Roses, ferns, iris, hostas, trees, succulents and shade-lovers all prosper in their corners of the Des Moines room, which doubles as an outdoor picture studio for Better Houses and Gardens, merging jointly to make a verdant total. 

A Sunny Knockout Rose blooms in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden on June 10, 2022, in downtown Des Moines.

Gerdes and the other personnel, together with an annual intern, work to discover the greatest households for the vegetation they test and encourage the relaxation of us dust diggers to do the very same. Repositioning unhappy-hunting plants might support them discover far more joyful locales.

And, walking among the plants that appeared really darn delighted with their residences, Gerdes noted that at times vegetation decides it isn’t going to want to be in the outside area. And that is Alright.

Plants and flowers grow in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden on June 10, 2022, in downtown Des Moines.

“When one thing dies, it gets to be an opportunity for some thing new,” she explained. 

This garden mixes old with new.

There are some Japanese maples and blue spruce that ended up planted when the yard was very first established 24 decades back. But there are also new plants that Superior Residences and Gardens gets from nurseries to exam. You could see all those that get passing grades in the pages of the magazine or online — or in your area backyard garden keep, completely ready for you to make it part of your individual oasis.

Des Moines Register photographer Kelsey Kremer making photos in the Better Homes and Gardens test garden, June 10, 2022.

Knowledge from the Far better Houses and Gardens exam garden 

  • The solution of clematis? “It likes its head in the sunlight and its toes in the shade,” Gerdes suggests. 
  • All individuals gallon pots you get from the backyard garden store? You can reduce out the bottom, transform then upside down and use them to defend your younger developing factors from rabbits. 
  • Consider about variety in all kinds of approaches. Not just which vegetation but the shades, textures, heights and shapes of the crops and blooms.
Inside the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden during public visiting hours on Friday, June 10, 2022, in downtown Des Moines. The garden is open for public viewing on Friday afternoons in the summer from noon to 2 p.m.

Take a look at the Far better Houses and Gardens take a look at backyard

Taking up about 50 percent of a city block, the back garden, at Grand Avenue and 15th Avenue in Des Moines, is open up on Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. through September 30. 

Rachel Stassen-Berger is the Register’s information director. When she edits articles, she hopes the writers feel that she has served them turn out to be “me, only better.” Achieve her at [email protected]

Rachel Stassen-Berger

Our Des Moines

Our Des Moines is a weekly function on an fascinating individual, place or happening in the Des Moines metro, the form of gems that make central Iowa a unique area. Have an thought for this collection? Contact [email protected].

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