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Mayfield gardens tell the story

Story and Photography By Vicki Hunkler

Let the gardens talk as you stroll through them. They express themselves in so many ways telling you if they are productive and happy or thirsty and stressed. The plants and flowers within them boast the colors of the season and tilt their heads toward the sun, or they cry for shade and ask to be replanted.

The theme of this year's Laurel Oak Garden Club annual tour, "Strolling through the Gardens," featured a walking tour of 11 venues. They are located within a unique three-block historical neighborhood in Mayfield from East College Street, down South First and Second Streets and Chappell Court. (A street sign indicates the spelling may have changed over the years to Chappel.)

Attendees were treated to a variety of garden attractions cultivated by the homeowners and a luncheon on the lawn. The residences where gardens were toured stand as a reminder of generations past andfamily names with storiesof their own.

The stately home of Jim and Kay Baer has long been one of Mayfield's most attractive. Some may remember it was owned by the Simpson family for several decades and the Loughlin family before that. Next door is the grand façade of Dr. Olin and Carol Covington's home with a green tile roof that was unique when it was built. The home originally bore the Kevil family name.

Another home across the street is owned by John and Marissa Allen and was the residence of the McKelvey family, who built it in 1952. The lovely back area features a small white cottage positioned within the hostas and other shade-loving plants.

The garden of Gary and Lisa Hoskins was the only one of its kind on the tour. The signage advised visitors to "Grow Food, not Lawns."

The carefully planned vegetable beds were beautiful in their symmetry and the perfect place for veggies to thrive.

Susan and Anthony Earles' brick house is over 100 years old. For three generations of Robbins, the home has remained "all in the family." (Susan's mother is Nancy Robbins Wilson, who also lived there at one time with husband Joey.)

The oldest home on the tour is owned by Ruby and Robert Smith and was built in 1896. During the 1930s, Dr. Phillip Hunt's yard was full of peonies. Friends gathered to admire them for many years.

Other beautiful yards and gardens featured belong to the following Mayfield residents: Gloria and John Galloway (she is the club president and tour chairman), originally the Creason home; Dana and Ric Watson, formerly the Albritton home; Jo Nell and Cliff Dew, originally built for the Haugh family on property where the rose garden of L.S. Anderson grew; and Claudia and John Earles, formerly the home of Mrs. Carl Brown.

The final stop was for lunch on the grounds of Tiffany and John Gust's property. The grand house was home to Jane Ann and Scott Nall and their family for decades.

Jane Ann was among the touring guests.

For 52 years, the Laurel Oak Garden Club in Mayfield has worked toward the beautification of the town. The tour is the group's main fundraiser and gives visitors the opportunity to view private gardens each year.

As for the gardens themselves, they loved their moment in the sun! They all appeared to be happy and thriving. n

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