RICHLAND, WA – It is peak season for one of nature’s best shows of beauty: dahlias. Turns out, Richland is home to a secret dahlia garden lovingly tended to by Dahlia Lou, otherwise known as LouAnn Schielke. She says there are hundreds of types of flowers and other plants at her and husband’s home.
Dale and LouAnn moved into the home in the heart of north Richland back in 1975. When their children started to grow up, LouAnn took a liking to gardening.
“Then we started adding flower gardens,” she said. “Lots of work. It’s just kind of evolved. We’re never done out here.”
It sounds like a full-time job of a hobby. To that, LouAnn laughed: “I am out here most of the day.”
However, it is a true labor of love. While the dahlias are the showstoppers the Schielke’s have roses, hostas, a flower maple and even a hummingbird corner filled with plants to entice the tiny birds.
So, which flowers are LouAnn’s favorites?
“I have a hard time saying which one is my favorite,” she said. “They’re all my favorite. It’s like your kids.”
The Schielke’s have never used their flowers for weddings. They don’t sell the flowers commercially. They do provide the beautiful buds for Christ the King Church about twice a week when the flowers are in bloom. The big, beautiful, sprawling, secret garden is truly for the joy of it for Dale and LouAnn.
“It’s just peaceful working in the garden and just the beauty of it all,” said Schielke. “I thank the lord for giving me the strength and a good husband to help me work in the garden. We hope to be able to do it for a long time. I think it’s just the beauty of it all and doing something with my hands. I’m kind of a busy person. I dont like to sit around too much.”
Busy, indeed. The couple’s neighbors say they are the hardest working on the block in their garden. At the Fair in August, the Schielke’s brought more than 100 varieties to the shows and, no surprise here, took home a LOT of blue ribbons.
Source: NBC Right Now