July Garden Tour 2016

We visited the home and gardens of the Stenleys in Taneytown for our July summer tour. Our friendly host was Tom Stenley who appears to be a master of multiple trades–metal working, carpentry, masonry, repurposing old items. Their house appears at first glance to be a well kept home from the 1800’s, but it was actually built by Tom and Kim. We were treated to a tour of the interior and marveled at the workmanship and liveability.

The property is out in the country and has a rolling lawn with woods and fields at edges.  Tom mentioned that he would like to do away with so much lawn to keep up. He is apparently a great tree lover as everywhere he had all kinds of young trees planted, both ornamental and shade trees. He hopes the grass in those areas will become less bothersome with the addition of more shade.

We started near the house along some pathways with varied plantings. In other areas were many beds which were large, well edged and of varied shapes. Some were devoted to very large stands of particular plants, like beebalm, which would be a boon to pollinators to have so much bounty grouped in one spot. It also made a colorful impact.


Shade beds with many hostas and other plants tolerant to low light conditions¬† were tiered in upper and lower beds to the rear of the house. We noted too a larger brick and mortar construction–perhaps a kiln?–located in that area.

In the sunny spots, we were treated to a fine daylily display–some quite hugely blossomed as well as stands of coneflowers, yarrow and flowering vines climbing trees.

A well ordered bramble patch divided by split rail no doubt makes picking berries much easier. We also noted some large plants attractive to pollinators interspersed in the berry rows.

Bramble rows

Our hostess was Jan Halman-Miller, who knows the family and Jan’s daughter who is a professional gardener,¬† was also a good resource to answer some questions.

We had a decent turn out and a good time on a fine day.