Gardens have grown into labors of love

With meandering trails and a large koi pond, the couple’s garden was featured Saturday as part of the self-guided Treasured Gardens tour in Henderson County.

The tour, sponsored by the Garden Club of Hendersonville, featured five gardens near Flat Rock.

“We started (the garden) in 1991,” Hazel Richards said. “We move our plants like we move our furniture.”

The tour kicked off at 10 a.m. under clear skies, and already cars lined the street in Wilson Farms near the house.

“It’s a lifetime of interest,” Byron Richards said. “We’ve always grown things.”

Almost all of the work on the property, besides the concrete driveway, was done by the couple. The koi pond is 12 feet deep in the center. Byron Richards threw in a handful of fish food, and almost immediately, the koi, in shades of white, black and orange, came from all corners of the pond. The Richards had to drill a well on the property to water all their plants and keep the pond filled with water. Their house uses city water.

The garden features a wide variety of conifers, and Byron Richards said the trees are a must for any garden.

“You cannot have a garden without conifers,” he said. “You don’t have a garden if you don’t have conifers.”

In Claremont in Flat Rock, Nan Payne-Parker started building her garden three years ago.

“I moved here three years ago on April Fools’ Day,” she said. “For the first year, I stood on the sidewalk and glared at the garden.”

She decided to add more color, and starting in February 2009, she helped it grow. She said she doesn’t know how much work she puts into her garden, because she enjoys it.

“I didn’t realize I (enjoyed it),” she said, with a laugh. “My father always made we do the hard labor to earn my allowance when I was growing up. But something must’ve sunk in.”

For more on the Hendersonville Garden Club, call 828-699-6520.

Reach Goodman at 828-694-7867 or

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