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Mediterranean garden charm
Wever family creation part of Ripon garden tour
Shades of a Mediterranean garden are evident in this section of the Wevers back-yard garden, thanks to the symmetrical arrangement of a long stone paver-covered area connecting the seating area shown to another identical setting on the opposite end of the back yard. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

RIPON – Visitors to the Wever family’s gardens can easily find themselves transported to a Mediterranean villa.

One side of the back yard particularly summon that ambiance – thanks to a splashing wall fountain framed by thick and lush foliage of different plant varieties that harkens back to that part of the world, a gigantic river stone fireplace, thick stands of flowering trees and shrubs that include a rose garden, and spacious walkways in the center of it all featuring symmetrically arranged and warm-colored stepping stones with miniature Mondo groundcover grasses planted in between to soften the scene.

This is the peaceful backdrop for the two outdoor dining areas located in two corners of the back yard.

Another section of the back yard gardens is dominated by a majestic and towering 100-plus-year-old olive tree that came with the property when this Spring Creek Golf Course subdivision was developed. Carlyn and Barry Wever, who equally share gardening duties in addition to sharing a common love for gardening, took advantage of the impressive olive with branches that look like giant fingers reaching to the sky and turned it into a visual centerpiece for this cool garden corner next to the covered patio. Oversized glass walls from the living room bring this calming and cool outdoor garden inside the home.

Beneath the branches of the olive tree is a bench that is visually enveloped by all the green foliage, interspersed with colorful flowers from different flowering plant varieties. One who sits a spell on this bench will find himself being serenaded by the soothing melodious sounds of a wind chime hanging from an olive tree branch. Harmonizing with the wind chimes is the peaceful sound coming from a large water fountain flushed against the fence and wearing a “skirt” of blooming begonias.

The olive tree looks well kempt and not like a giant medusa. “We have a fellow prune it for us because it’s so tall,” Carlyn Wever said.

“They’ve very Mediterranean,” she said of the tree’s attractive element.

Creating a “quiet cool zone” was the Wevers’ goal when they designed this part of the garden in the back yard.

“My husband and I do absolutely everything together,” Carlyn said of their garden chores.

Husband Barry retired four years ago from his trucking company which left him more time to indulge in his new hobby.

“He has switched from trucking to gardening to golf,” Carlyn said with a smile.

She shared a gardener’s secret that would delight other avid green thumb hobbyists, especially those who have declared the destructive snails as garden enemy number one. Have turtles and give them free reign in the garden. That will end your snail problems. At least, this strategy worked for them.

“We got them for snail control,” Carlyn said.

They found that out after their kids gave them three turtles as gifts. They have since added more to their collection. They make the turtles happy by giving them a regular ration of strawberries and corn to feast on.

“They love the fruits and they love the corn. Their favorite are the strawberries,” Carlyn said.

The slow-moving shelled-creatures, they also found out, are “creatures of habit.

“They have their own little spaces” in the garden, Carlyn explained.

And, she added, “they are happy.”