The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Homes

August 26, 2012

Gruenewald House gardens, interior are historically accurate

ANDERSON, Ind. — While area history buffs realize that setting foot inside the Gruenewald Historic House is taking a step back in time, many are unaware that a stroll though the garden is as historically accurate as the interior of the home.

Deciding that a beautiful blooming lot was simply not educational enough for this local treasure, the Madison County Master Gardeners determined to create an heirloom garden that features only plants that were in existence before 1900. Since the home at 626 Main St. was completed in 1874 for Martin and Christiana Gruenewald, the garden theoretically could have looked similar to its modern-day appearance.

“It gets touchy how I say it,” said master gardener Loretta Heiniger with a laugh. “I used to say that every plant we grow is 100 years old but one day a woman from the Harter House stopped me by saying: ‘No they aren’t. I watched you plant them yesterday.’ ”

Heirloom plants are species that have survived for at least 50 years. Since that qualification didn’t reach far enough into history to ensure accuracy, gardeners consulted magazines and catalogs from the 1800s to see what was available for purchase at the time.

“I’m big on native plants,” said Heiniger, known in her circles as “the butterfly lady.”

“It just makes it more of a challenge to have to use plants from the 1900s. You have to start from seeds because you can’t buy them at the store.”

Brown-eyed

Susans and herbs


Despite the high temperatures and dry conditions this summer, the garden is awash with color. Heavily blooming now is the rudbeckia triloba, commonly known as brown-eyed Susan. Native to the area, the small yellow daisy type flowers are overflowing in the cottage garden and pouring over the brick walkways.

Also in bloom is one of Heiniger’s favorites, the zinnia peruviana (youth and old age zinnia). Unlike most flowers that lose their petals as they age, this variety retains the petals — although the color does fade. One shoot will have several blooms of different shades, the brightest being the youngest and the palest the oldest.

While this species is not native, it was available by 1804. England routinely sent ships to foreign lands to seek out exotic goods, including new varieties of flowers. From England, favorites would make their way to the United States.

Dedicating a strip next to the house to be the herb garden, the master gardeners sowed a number of useful plants. Culinary herbs include thyme, basil, parsley and sage. To brew perfect teas they planted lemon balm, lemon mint and peppermint. Medicinal herbs are Echinacea (coneflower), Joe Pye Weed and feverfew. Anthemis and false blue indigo were added for colorful dyes.

Although this section was supposed to be relegated to those purposeful herbs, volunteer flowers crossed the brick pathway to join them.

“The seeds just blow this way,” said LeAnna Reardon, master gardener. “The flowers pop up and we just leave them.”

Although the gardeners are busy with their extensive gardens at their own homes, they make time every week to work on the heirloom garden as well.

“It’s just in my genes,” said Heiniger. “I have always gardened since I was a little girl.”

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an email to emmagoldiemeyer@yahoo.com.

1
Text Only
Homes
  • FEA HB0706 Homes 0206 Reduce, reuse, recycle When companies in the food industry are finished with a 50-gallon barrel they use to store and ship perishable items, Leslie White knows just what to do with it. Rather than see it shipped off to a landfill, she outfits the barrel to be an instrument of conservation.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0629 horizontal place4 Memory box project can enhance home decor One of my passions is decorating our home with personal items celebrating family. I also love doing projects that are easy, fast and cheap. Creating a memory box combines both of those interests.

    June 28, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0626 Elliott home Garden Walk shows off greenery Both of Ellen Elliott’s parents were gardeners when she was growing up. Her mom and dad taught her all about growing tomatoes, peppers, green beans and other vegetables and plants when she was a small child.

    June 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • FEA HB0622 homes_0173 Creating their garden Excited to be on the 16th Annual Tour of the Madison County Master Gardener Association, Sandy Hampton has been working hard to ensure everything is perfect for this Saturday.

    June 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0608 1418 Condo living Since Herb and Betty Pruett were drawn to this area via Anderson University – and they met walking the campus byways – it is only fitting they have retired to University Village, the condominiums with a direct connection to the school.

    June 7, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0701 Homes 1169 Family treasures Follow Betty Tufts through her home and she will lift treasure after treasure that prompts a story of family. From knickknacks that were given to sketches that were drawn to features of the house that were installed, the pieces of her home are the calling cards of the ones who love her.

    May 31, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA - HB0525 - HOMES 1290 Just a few tweaks left in renovation of old house At times, I thought the day would never come. On other occasions, it seemed like the finish line was just within my sights only to move forward with each step I took.

    May 24, 2014 7 Photos

  • FEA HB0511 Homes 1167 Making room for the music When George and Norma Smith built their home in 1967, they had family in mind. The location provided the opportunity for their three sons to attend Lapel Community Schools and the floor plan ensured that each one could claim a bedroom of his own.

    May 10, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0504 Homes 1134(1) Retirement living When Dr. J. G. Pierce, a local dentist for 40 years, decided it was time to leave his home in favor of a retirement community, he set his eye on Primrose.

    May 3, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA - HB0420 - 1008 Location, location, location When imagining the house of a farmer, people don’t tend to envision the home built by George and Nancy Likens. By pouring time and attention into their haven since they originally constructed the house in 1975, they have created an updated and lovely environment in the perfect setting.

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

Galleries
Photographers’ pick
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

Do you think Madison County and its cities need stricter pet ownership laws?

Yes, animal abuse is rampant in our area and something needs to be done.
Yes, but it may not help. It’s difficult to enforce such laws.
No, the laws are fine as they are.
Not sure
     View Results