GREENSBURG – An unexpected surprise awaits locals traveling west past the 700 block of E. North Street.
At 731 E. North Street, Georgia and Steven Tempest, mother and son, have planted a garden that bears countless floral delights. As a matter of fact, according to Georgia, there's something blooming there from March all the way to first frost, and it is certainly a delight to behold.
"I moved here in 2003 and there was nothing here at that time. Mom moved in with me in 2010, and we mixed her flowers in with mine and got some from aunts and uncles. That made what you see," said Steven, who works for WWL at Honda.
On what appears to be just another corner lot on an ordinary street, Georgia and Steven have planted an amazing collection of almost every flower that grows in Southeastern Indiana mixed in with architectural pieces, all manner of lawn statuary, ponds with actual gold and coy fish, several other gardening attractions, and a few things one would not expect.
"I like the butterflies and the bees and all the creatures of nature that come here the best. We have lots of blue jays and red birds, "said Steven.
"And we have two ponds with nine fish in one and 15 in the other," Georgia chimed in.
As a visitor, it is amusing to listen to the two describe each little flower, each sculpture and each turn in the path. Sometimes they both talk at once, so excited to have a visitor here in their "little part of heaven."
"We have pictures of when Steven moved here 15 years ago and there was nothing here but that tree and that tree," Georgia said as she pointed at trees in the distance.
"And the 21 years I've lived here, we brought stuff from my old house and we just keep adding," Steven said.
Having worked 32 years at Heritage House, Georgia said she didn't mind entertaining visitors.
"Most people know me and they know this is my garden. People bring other people from Ohio and Illinois just to see my garden," she said. "They're always welcome here."
Grassy paths wind this way and that, and there is a door taken from when the Tempests replaced the front door with something more "weather sturdy." There is also a small gazebo surrounded with sculptures and perennials, with a few annuals tucked here and there. And there are bird feeders, wind chimes, and paving stones in all shapes and sizes.
Georgia stopped at a gathering of plants and an elephant statue.
"Steven loves elephants, so we put this elephant in, and I like painting, so I paint all the sculptures," Georgia said. "We just gather from other family members. We probably have over 100 different hostas in all varieties."
She also proudly pointed out what she described as an 800 pound turtle the family picked up in Taylorsville, as well as a host of garden gnomes.
"We like gnomes, and sometimes we miss things. Last summer, we had a couple gnomes disappear, but we don't mind. It doesn't happen that often," said Steven.
"We have things planted here in the memory of people, too. I got the love of gardening from my father. His name was Lester Collins, and every one knows him," Georgia said.
"And we feed the birds," Steven said as he pointed at the bird feeders. "But we don't have to, they pick off the cone flowers and things."
When asked if there was a method to how they planned their garden, they both laughed.
"No, we just do it," Steven said.
"We love it, and we know how beautiful it is, but we don't plan it," Georgia added.
Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111 ext. 7011 or email email@example.com.