My name is Christi Gormley. My gardening obsession took root 20 years ago in Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts. I started working for a small landscaping company during the summers and traveled to western Massachusetts during the school year to study all things related to plant’s lives at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. In time I began my own business of creating and maintaining gardens which flourished into a very gratifying small company. The misty, spirited gardens on that beautiful island will always hold a special place in my heart.
After our son was born my husband and I decided to move our family to a cabin he built on a very special piece of ground he grew up on in south-eastern Ohio. I gave my gardening roots a very hard pruning and transplanted all of that obsession to Chandlersville, Ohio where it is once again is beginning to flourish as Christi Gormley Garden Design.
Plants have a lot to live up to in my world. I’m VERY impatient and I’m not willing to wait around for years for them to look nice. Plants must live up to their potential rather quickly or out they go. If that isn’t enough pressure on the poor things, the environments that I am usually working in tend to be very demanding of new plant material. On Nantucket gardens endure long, wet, cool springs; gale force winds throughout the year bringing in salt spray from the ocean; an over-population of deer; Nor’easters that in some locations carry the entire top layer of a garden off into the ocean. In south-eastern Ohio we have harsh winters (though they are getting more mild by the year); long, very hot, humid summers with often inadequate rain fall; in many locations an impenetrable layer of clay for topsoil. So for the most part, I tend to obsess over and work only with hardy plants that don’t require a lot of futzing. Occasionally I will stick in a few slow growing contestants that can be hidden should they not pass muster.
One of the best things that happened to me and fed my gardening obsession when I moved to Ohio was my introduction to Mission Oaks Gardens. I am honored and truly lucky to have been able to work and volunteer in these public gardens. There are almost 7 acres of ground with thousands of species of perennials, shrubs, and trees. Meticulously constructed landscape features such as waterfalls, a bog, a pond, and a unique log gazebo are all part of what make this a special place to visit. I learn something new every time I visit this plant haven and look forward to sharing some of this beauty and wonder with you in this blog. Mission Oaks Gardens is maintained by the Muskingum Valley Park District with the assistance of dedicated volunteers and staff of the Mission Oaks Foundation. If you would like to learn more please visit their websites at : www.missionoaksgardens.org , www.mvparkdistrict.org
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