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Come take a walk

Harlan and June Nelson have been on yard tours before and after taking a stroll through their back garden, it’s easy to see why.

Walking through their expansive backyard bordering Cedar River is almost like walking through a park, complete with paths and plants of all kinds. It’s a beautiful escape right out the back door.

You don’t doubt it when the couple says it’s a relaxing environment in which to spend your time, and now they want to help others find a little relaxation as well.

The couple has decided to open up their backyard, filled with hostas, trees and singing birds to those who wish to just get away for  a bit.

They have printed out pamphlets and handed them out to friends and acquaintances. On the pamphlet the couple sold the property as a walk among the tranquil.

“Looking for a place to take a short walk?” it reads. “We would like to invite you to walk in our backyard. We would like to share with you the tranquil setting of the Cedar River, mulched paths, trees and flowers.”

Throughout the yard one can find a Korean birch tree, several varieties of hostas and flowers of all shades. You might even see some river travellers.

“One of the neatest things are the kayaks going down the river,” Harlan said. “There are so many more than what used to be.”

But the jewel is the yard. The paths are clean, bordered by hostas that Harlan has found the deer don’t like, specifically the Golden Tiara hosta, and there are plenty of those. He has also taken great pains to ring the garden in fishing line with bits of tape hanging from it that has done a good job in keeping the deer out as well.

However, as people come and enjoy the short walk, many will have no idea the change the yard has undergone throughout the 21 years they’ve lived there. Instead of a garden when they moved in, the back area was largely trees.

Harlan pointed out a specific spot where a large grassy area stands out from the garden as proof.

“There was a big cottonwood there and a wind storm blew it down and took out 12 other trees,” he said. “Consequently we now have a yard.”

Harlan said it took four years of hard work to get the yard to how it currently looks.

The plants are a mix of annuals and perennials.

The couple are hoping that aside from taking a step away from current events, visitors will be able to appreciate the garden as well as take some ideas home.

“First of all, I hope people will enjoy it and get some ideas of what can be done,” Harlan said. “Mostly though, I hope they enjoy it and appreciate the hard work.”

To take your own tour, the Nelson’s live at 1410 Second St. NW.