Eclectic Shawano garden featured in walk

Annual event benefits Safe Haven

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Kathy Buss has a lot to look at in her yard on the corner of Ridlington and Evergreen streets in Shawano. The yard will be featured in this year’s 14th annual Garden Walk to benefit Safe Haven.

One of the first things you notice about Kathy Buss’ home on the corner of Ridlington and Evergreen streets in Shawano is the beautiful tiered landscaping on the retaining wall.

It came about when Buss’ husband, John, who works at Walker Forge, was no longer able to mow their lawn, so the responsibility fell to her. The drop-off led to some delicate mowing.

“That’s when I put in the retaining wall,” Buss said, noting she put in every one of the bricks by herself. “I did it in stages.”

That is just one of the many changes Buss has made to the property. When she moved into the home in 1999, she said there were just trees and a couple of bushes in the yard.

Now there is much to see in the garden that will be featured in Saturday’s 14th annual Garden Walk to benefit Safe Haven, Shawano County’s domestic abuse and sexual assault support center.

Buss said she’s not finished yet.

“I still have projects up here,” Buss said, pointing to her head.

As much of her yard is shaded, she’s included roughly 15 varieties of hostas. Impatiens decorate the retaining wall. A fountain waterfall is in the backyard by the patio, which has been made larger over the years.

A special garden is dedicated to her parents, the late Arnold and Sylvia Koepsell, who had a business in Shawano on Main Street for many years. It includes a red bud bush that she gave her mom one year for Mother’s Day. Buss moved it to her home in 2004 after her mom died.

Some of the plants in her yard came from ones that were in the family store. There are hostas that belonged to her mother, but Buss said her dad enjoyed working with plants the most.

“My dad enjoyed puttering around in the backyard,” she said.

While Buss said she prefers perennials to annuals, her garden contains some of each. There is also a hodgepodge collection of yard art, including country or antique-type items scattered among the flowers and bushes — including the pigs she’s named Pork and Beans.

Getting the garden ready for the garden walk has been a lot of work this year, she said.

“It may not be the most professional-looking garden,” said Buss, who works in the sales department at Seagrave in Clintonville. “But it’s my garden and I have in it what I like.”

Other gardens in the walk include the following:

• Virginia Jesse, 1226 Sunrise Lane, Shawano.

• Hope Community Church, 102 Tristan Drive, Shawano.

• Bob and Jackie Clark, N1151 Whispering Pines Court, Keshena.

• Marlies Lowey, W2463 Tall Moon Road, Keshena.

The walk runs Wednesday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are still available for $12 at the garden locations as well as a handful of area businesses. For information, call 715-526-3421.