The Shenango Valley Gardeners are venturing into Brookfield for their 10th Tour of Treasures on July 14. The Brookfield location will be …

Shh. It’s a secret.

The club does not give out the list of tour stops until you show up at the registration table between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day in the parking lot at East State Street and Oakland Avenue, Sharon, said President Ann U’Halie. Once you register, you will get a tour book that lists all the stops, including gardens in Transfer, Sharon, Sharpsville and Hermitage.

However, NEWS On the Green’s green-thumb investigative reporting team has identified the Brookfield garden. The garden owner, a 70-year-old woman, said planting flowers is something that rewards you.

“They always make people smile – make me smile,” she said.

The mystery gardener developed her interest in flowers and gardening from her grandparents. As a kid, she would spend summers with them in Springfield, Ohio, and help them tend their garden and preserve vegetables.

The gardener moved into her home in Brookfield nine years ago, taking over a house that had been vacant for two years and offered through a sheriff’s sale. There was plenty of inside work to do, but she also worked outside, tearing up the overgrowth, setting up rain barrels, planting roses, fencing off the back yard and establishing a vegetable garden.

“It’s like a hobby to me,” she said. “This is my gymnasium.”

She tries to choose flowers so that something is always blooming throughout the growing season, she said, including zinnias, petunias, dusty millers, butterfly bushes, milkweed, lilies, clematis and chrysanthemums. 

“Geraniums are my favorite because Japanese beetles do not like geraniums,” the gardener said. “Neither do mosquitoes.”

That’s why geraniums line her back porch, giving her a perfect place to rest and enjoy the warm weather.

Sunflowers plant themselves when they fall from her bird feeders.

“Her place is gorgeous,” said U’Halie, chairman of the tour committee. “It’s really, really cute.”

The gardener’s vegetable garden has rhubarb, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and eggplant.

The gardener only waters with rainwater and doesn’t use pesticides. Her fence is to keep her dogs in, but it doesn’t do anything to deter the rabbits or deer, who munch at their favorites.

“It’s not real big, but it’s not real small,” the gardener said of her planted yard.

She hopes her visitors will appreciate it as much as she does, and is honored that her yard has been chosen.

“It keeps me busy and out of trouble,” she said.

The tour lasts until 4 p.m.

Information: svgardeners.org or on the group’s Facebook page.

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