The Garden Club of Frankfort has chosen the home of Doug and Rosie Doerting as Frankfort’s House of the Month. Homes are chosen based on outstanding landscape design.
The Doertings purchased their home on Ridge Road in the Thistleton subdivision in the summer of 2016. They were both fortunate to have grown up in homes with green space and flower gardens that instilled in them a lifelong love of gardening. Many of the flowers that grow in their garden come from their childhood homes. Rosie joined The Garden Club of Frankfort in 2017 as a means to continue to pursue her interest in gardening and now serves as its first vice president.
When they found the Thistleton property with its large lot just waiting to be turned into a gardening paradise, their two grown sons, Matthew and Will, declared it was the perfect fit for their parents.
The first task at the new house was to prepare areas for garden beds. Rosie and Doug set about amending the flower beds with truckloads of compost. Their former home in Bridgeport had an extensive garden, so they divided and moved daylilies (a favorite plant), perennials and shrubs to their new garden beds. Many of the plants were gifts from friends and family, with special memories of places and people.
The first garden space they created was a perennial border at the back of the lot situated to take advantage of full sun. They also expanded a small existing bed at the end of the driveway. Next, the shade plants, consisting of hostas, ferns, coral bells, astilbe and hellebores, were planted in new beds under trees, along the side porch, and tucked into a small area in the back corner of the lot.
The back of the lot is a small triangular area and was overgrown with ivy and vines. Doug cleared this area and built a small stone wall, creating a peaceful shaded area for sitting and relaxing.
In 2020, the Doertings planted a shrub border along one side of the property. Viburnums, oak leaf hydrangeas, ninebark and a button bush, all chosen for their varied leaves, blooms and barks, add year-round interest. These shrubs were also chosen for their low maintenance properties.
The large side porch almost always has a cooling breeze in the summer and is the perfect spot for reading and dining. Flowerpots grace the porch with color and impatiens, and hostas and ferns in the bed beside the porch provide a quiet ambience.
Rosie and Doug plant with all four seasons of the year in mind. The property is beautiful in spring, summer, fall and winter.
In early spring the property comes alive with jonquils. Rosie’s grandfather raised and sold King Alfred jonquils and when they bloom in the spring, they bring back memories of her grandfather.
The May garden comes to life when the peonies and oriental poppies bloom. The poppies were divided and transplanted from their previous property in Bridgeport. Gardeners, of course, are wonderful about sharing and the poppies are from a neighbor in Bridgeport. Now, the poppies bloom in the Doerting home on Ridge Road in Thistleton and have, no doubt, been passed on to new neighbors.
The summer season brings an abundance of colors, textures, shapes and sizes to the garden. Many varieties of lilies and daylilies, iris, phlox, daisies, coneflowers, salvia, lamb’s ear, artemisia, sunflowers, black-eyed susans, catmint, hyssop and annuals, provide an oasis for butterflies, bees and birds.
When the blooms of the summer flowers start to fade the late summer and fall flowers take their place in the spotlight. The garden is then filled with blooms from marigolds, cannas, butterfly weed, asters, dahlias, Joe Pye weed, sedum, Japanese anemone and mums. Rosie and Doug be sure to leave some seed heads from coneflowers and sunflowers for the goldfinches to visit.
The winter garden features the weeping Beech tree located in the center of one of their perennial beds surrounded by a variety of sculptures the owners have either made or collected. The Doertings have always been interested in art, and when their son Will earned his BA in studio art from the University of Kentucky, it spurred an interest in sculpture.
The garden sculptures have been created by Will, UK students and by Doug, who learned metalworking from Will. The perennial bed also holds a hand pump, now painted bright green, relocated from their Bridgeport home. The pump provides fond memories of their home in the country. This perennial bed, filled with garden art, provides winter interest and lifts spirits.
February brings the excitement of the first hint of spring when the hellebores and even a few crocuses burst into bloom.
Rosie and Doug view gardening not as work but as a labor of love. Their garden is a refuge filled with fond memories of family and friends and they seek to honor them by being stewards of nature and providing a beautiful, natural, peaceful environment.