July “Garden of the Month” contest produces a stunning rock garden

Rosalia Garden Club has chosen to feature an outstanding rock garden that is imaginative and unique. John and Jerri Widman are the creative designers of this unusual garden in Rosalia. They have lived in this same location since 1989 and their old garden design contained a lot of shrubs that needed constant pruning to keep them in shape. When you think of a rock garden, a picture of a quiet and subtle scene comes to mind, but this rock garden is bold and exciting in a creative setting. The Widman’s discovered their rock garden gave them an advantage of growing vegetables and fruits earlier than normal because of the heat generated by the rocks. They started specializing in Cucurbits which includes gourds, melons, squash and Pumpkin. It brings great joy to them to share their bounty with family and friends. They donated many attractive specimens each year to decorate the local church’s social room tables. Jeri stated this year’s crop is extra special as she will use them to decorate for her son’s wedding in October.

Laura Fulton | Special to the Gazette

Jerri Widman stands with her Garden of the Month sign.

Their spectacular landscape includes some yard art. A metal turkey made from horseshoes and metal files fits in perfectly and has become a conversation piece for guests. Jerri has also added some special greenery areas that add interest; it gives a cool feeling from the heat of the rocks. There is a special fir tree featured in their landscape, and John gives it a manicure every year; it is decorated with lights at Christmas time, and really sparkles in the snow.

Jerri’s love of gardening goes back to her childhood growing up in the Spokane Valley where her father grew a large vegetable garden for the family, and Jerri loved helping so she could play in the dirt. The love of gardening has carried on throughout her life, and she is thrilled to have her garden be named “July Garden of the Month” by the local garden club.

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