John Sidwell’s Backyard Gardens

Sylvania Township Resident John Sidwell doesn’t have to go far to find his “Happy Place.” It’s literally in his St. James Wood backyard.

Sidwell, a retired retail manager, finds no greater joy than beautifying his deck and surrounding landscape. “It’s more than a hobby. It’s my passion. I call it my ‘Happy Place,’” he said while watering his lush garden.

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Adorned with hundreds of perennials including Hostas, Coral Bells, Phlox, Shasta Daisies, Blue Bells, Pot of Gold and Black-Eyed Susan, the abundant trees and sandy soil conditions are a challenge, but he’s learned to work around them. “I’m lucky because my backyard gets just enough light to keep everything blooming.”

Sidwell loves the pops of color from the Sun Impatiens, Coleus, Purple Fountain Grass and Boston Fern and says he spends up to five hours per day tinkering, pruning, cultivating, watering, and “jazzing up” the beds. Two bubbling water fountains, benches, bird baths and stepping stones give the space interest and dimension.

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Sidwell’s gardening hobby helps pass the time while his wife, Kim, works as the Director of Institutional Management at Imagination Station. The couple loves to entertain guests on the deck. Decorated with artwork, candles, pillows, foot stools, lanterns and George Carruth pieces, mood lighting is provided by stringed patio globes.

Despite his love for traveling with his wife, he is more content in his backyard, adding simply, “I just look around, and it makes me happy.”

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