|Lou Juanna Snow of Ferron works in her lasagna garden.|
Your first question might be, what is a lasagna garden and Lou Juanna Snow will be happy to tell you all about it. She began gardening in earnest when her oldest daughter passed away. The daughter had asked if her wedding could be held in the yard and Lou Juanna went to work to prepare for the wedding. When the daughter passed away just months after the wedding, Lou Juanna began to work in the garden as therapy to cope with the loss. The garden also provided comfort after the passing of her second daughter from the same rare heart condition.
Her gardens evolved from one area of flowers in the large yard, to flowers, fountains, statues and decorations located all over the yard. She has a love for day lilies and they are the centerpiece in the early summer during their bloom. She has rock gardens with rocks gathered in the area, along with the beds of flowers. In other areas of the yard, Lou Juanna has petunia beds and containers with every kind of flower and plant imaginable.
She says that she works dirt cheap. "I work for RK Gardens and I take my pay in dirt and plants," she laughs. "My boss thinks it's great."
Now Lou Juanna is making lasagna gardens. If you know about lasagna gardens you know she is not growing pasta. Lasagna is a term for layering organic material in the garden spots.
|This is the most recent lasagna garden Lou Juanna Snow has put in.|
Lou Juanna has decided she has had it with the weeds in her Ferron yard and began to research ways to eliminate the constant problem. She read in a gardening book about lasagna gardening and decided to try the method.
The first layer is wet newspaper to stop the weeds. Then in alternating layers, Lou Juanna places grass clippings, manure, chopped leaves, peat moss, and whatever other organic material is on hand. She saves all the produce scraps, eggs shells and other organic materials from her household. These add more nutrients to the lasagna garden. "I never buy eggs in the Styrofoam cartons. I always get the fiber ones. They can go into the garden also," says Lou Juanna.
When the layers have been allowed to "cook" over the winter months, Lou Juanna plants her plants in this nutrient rich mixture and enjoys the summer months nearly weed free. "It is great," she says. "I have so many plans for every area of my garden and I can't wait to have all the gardens completed with the lasagna gardening. I save many old sentimental items and place them throughout my gardens."
Lou Juanna's husband, Stephen, is a big help to her with her projects. "He is very smart and inventive," she says. "I just have to say 'I would like this' and he is figuring a way to build it. He built the fountain and put in a filtering system for the fish. He also made some barb wire cactus for decorations. I like to put green lights on them at Christmas time. It is so comforting and relaxing to come out here."
Lou Juanna's friends are getting into the projects now. The husband of a friend has been building birdhouses for her to place on stumps or just around the garden. She has collected several large wire spools and each is adorned with a cute birdhouse. She has other friends who save things for her garden such as a portion of old picket fence. She is proud of this piece and placed it between two trees for the ambiance. Her son had plans to throw away a washer that wore out and Lou Juanna salvaged the tub from the washer and turned it into a planter. "You can find ways to recycle everything and use it in your yard," said Lou Juanna.