Hey, Spike! buys some shrubs, gets an interview
September 13, 2012
Over on Lillian Bickel’s little piece of heaven in Dillon, you’ll find what probably should be called a testament to God’s little green half-acre.
Or, better yet, it’s a demonstration plot for the Colorado State University Extension Service.
Right there on Tenderfoot Drive, with great views of Dillon Reservoir, which offer gobs of sunshine, is her residence surrounded by flowers and more flowers, all masterfully landscaped with trickling water flows you hear while walking the stone pathways.
Lillian purchased the home in 1992 and it became her primary residence in 2006.
She describes the directions this way: “Address over garage door, American flag on deck, eagle weathervane over garage.”
And that yard full of color.
It was Lillian’s Summit Social Club email offering to sell four “Little Henry Flowering Shrubs” that caught Spike’s attention. They were extras, she explains.
Once at her house, with a quick walk around, there was no additional thinking required – if this woman says they’ll grow up here, they will, and still are.
So, who is this lady?
Armed with a bachelor’s degree in business education from University of Louisiana in Lafayette, the former Boulder resident taught at Cherry Creek High School in the mid-’70s and later ran a small family business for 30 years.
But it’s the gardening that she continues from her New Iberia, La., childhood days.
“My interest in gardening is inherited from my mother and her two sisters who were all passionate gardeners involved in local garden clubs and recognized in our community for their residential gardens and flower-arranging skills,” she says. “I grew up around beautiful gardens and carried it out in my own lifestyle.”
“My personal calling card says it all – ‘In my garden love grows.’ I’ve landscaped every inch of my half-acre lot out of love for the beauty, order and serenity that my landscaping brings to me and hopefully others,” adds Lillian.
Lillian offers these gardening tips:
“Our elevation in Summit County, over 9,000 feet, poses great challenges for local gardeners. We need to ensure that our trees, shrubs and bedding plants can survive in Zone 3 weather conditions. Check with local landscapers, landscaping companies or flower gardeners to see what grows in your area. Summit County is a very arid and water is very expensive. Consider building your landscaping plan around drought-resistant plants.”
When building planting beds, she advises, remove poor, rocky soil and replace it with at least 10-12 inches of good rock-free native soil (or topsoil), amended with (preferably) mushroom compost and a good time-release fertilizer.
Additionally, Lillian says, “Fertilize your plants during planting and periodically after planting. Deadhead spent plants to keep your garden looking fresh and inviting. Cover plants with 3-4 inches of mulch if possible to prevent weeds, retain water, and protect plants throughout the winter.”
And looking out beyond her home, over a patch of daisies, Lillian says, “For me, living in Dillon with views of Lake Dillon is a joyful experience daily. In general, The Summit is a paradise for locals and visitors alike.”
When not tending to her gardens, Lillian can be found attending church, playing duplicate bridge, enjoying dancing and theater year-round. Her seasonal activities include downhill skiing, hiking, biking and traveling.
Recently, we visited with former Summit County residents Dave “HD Roamer” Evers of Evergreen, and Rob Carney, now of Snowmass.
Dave was a ski instructor at Copper Mountain way back when (1978) and later became a rep for Tecnica.
Rob was in Frisco with wife, Kimberly, last weekend. He was a co-owner of Charity’s (now Tuscato) and Golden Annie’s (now Silverheels) with the John Tuso clan.
And we heard from Robert and Diana Levin, formerly of Frisco part-time. They have moved from their home in Plantation, Fla., down to Poinciana, near Kissimmee, in a community called Solivita, a playground for adults.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years.
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