Post Falls residents Bob and Diane Hoffman make a great team. They know the secret to creating a beautiful garden is to appreciate each other’s talents and have fun while they’re at it.
“She’s the director and the head gardener,” Bob said of his wife. While Diane insisted that he works harder than she does, he was quick to point out that she accomplishes more.
You will have an opportunity to visit their outstanding garden, located at 12259 W. Span Way Road, and four others during next Sunday’s 15th annual Coeur d’Alene Garden Tour.
The Hoffmans’ nearly two-acre property is situated on the south bank of the Spokane River. This tranquil setting serves as the stage for their many attractive plantings, sculptures and garden structures.
Diane, who is a Kootenai County Master Gardener, likes to do things on a large scale. She has 150 roses in a rainbow of colors and 675 petunias. “I know because I planted every single one,” she said.
Other plants of note include a Full Moon Japanese maple, daylilies, redbud trees, clematis vines, hostas and exotic-looking Jack-in-the-pulpits.
In the vegetable garden, raised beds are filled with cabbage, broccoli, corn, garlic, tomatoes, onions, beans, peas, cucumbers and squash.
They also grow blackberries, raspberries and blueberries and have productive fruit trees located throughout the garden.
Their garden art includes cranes, a charming sculpture of an older couple and a particularly appropriate sculpture of the Loch Ness monster on the bank of the river.
Bob has been busy over the past few years building structures for the garden from recycled materials. These include pergolas, a gazebo, grape arbor, and a greenhouse that is sure to make gardeners green with envy.
“When we moved here, there was one little planter outside the door,” Diane explained. “The rest was just a flat lawn that went out to the river.”
Each time she wanted to add an element to the garden, she would sit in different areas both in their home and yard to select the best spot for the sculptures and plantings.
In the 11 years they’ve lived on the property, the improvements have been dramatic.
“Our biggest challenge is keeping up the yard,” Diane said. “But it’s a labor of love so we just do what we can. It’s never going to be perfect, and we know that, but you keep working at it.”
The following gardens are also a part of the tour:
• Stacey Bishop, 201 E. Sixth Ave., Post Falls – The former owner of Petal Pushers nursery has a garden that overflows with colorful annuals and perennials. Many of the flowers have been artistically planted in antique containers of every size and shape imaginable, and a white picket fence adds a finishing touch to this beautiful setting.
• Shelley and Ron Rosenberger, 4789 Lancaster Ave., Hayden – This garden is part of a 160-acre ranch where the Rosenbergers raise Black Angus cattle and hay. Visitors will see ornamental grasses, colorful hanging baskets, deer-resistant perennials, a large waterfall and dry creek beds, all incorporated into this pastoral setting.
• Kathy Kelley and Jim Walsh, 12519 Emerald Drive, Hayden – In addition to the many shade-loving perennials, hanging baskets and large koi pond that are features of this tranquil garden, visitors will enjoy exploring the owners’ “Hobbit garden” with a whimsical treehouse as the focal point.
• Ann and Dennis Brueggemann, 1724 E. Coeur d’Alene Ave., Coeur d’Alene – This small garden has many areas of interest including a xeriscaped front yard with drought-tolerant perennials and a side yard lined by a fence with lattice openings and espaliered apple and pear trees. The back garden has a small pond, more fruit trees and many sun and shade perennials. There are also raised beds filled with vegetables and berries.