As you stroll through the gardens surrounding the 1911 city home of Keith and Nancy Davis, you might be surprised and captivated by the array of plants, flowers, water features and eclectic garden art. Although they have lived on the corner of Morgan and Main streets for 27 years, they spent the first several years raising their three kids rather than investing their time in flower beds. 

Nancy originally developed a love for flowers by spending time with her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents in their gardens while Keith’s parents cultivated his love of nature and the outdoors. Nancy further developed her knowledge of gardening by completing the first Montgomery County Master Gardner Program. Over the last 15 years, the two have combined their passions into a shared hobby that has resulted in reinventing their landscape.

Keith and Nancy’s in-town garden incorporates a large variety of hostas, daylilies, roses and water features. Because of their love of the depths of the shades of blues and greens, unique leaf patterns, rich textures (and fun names) of hostas, they have collected and labeled over 100 unique cultivars. 

Once they ran out of appropriate shade areas for hostas, they began collecting varieties of daylilies. They now have over 50 different daylilies scattered around sunny areas along Main and Morgan streets that provide pops of color for all to see.

The main attraction of the outside perimeter of their property is their oval-shaped rose garden and fountain surrounded by a variety of hostas. This area is framed with a Golden Shadows Pagoda Dogwood, a Bloodgood Japanese Maple and a backdrop of Sikes Dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangeas. Also providing a structure to this wonderful garden is the wrought iron fence that was originally installed around the Crawfordsville High School in 1911. You may also find interesting the newly-planted Coral Bark Japanese Maple and Bijou Japanese Maple which were purchased at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 

You may notice Keith and Nancy’s efforts at sustainability including rain barrels, composting bins and even a small brood of chickens. As you step into the backyard, you will experience the oasis they’ve created in the middle of the city. In fact, their backyard is registered with the National Wildlife Federation as a “Certified Wildlife Habitat” as it provides food, water, cover and nesting for birds and animals. Keith and Nancy love watching a constant flow of woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays and other birds that come to visit their birdfeeders. You might also see some of their favorite squirrels frolicking in the trees. 

The centerpiece of the back yard is the koi pond, approximately 7,000 gallons with a waterfall, a stream and over 50 koi. The soothing sound of water drowns out much of the city noise and the koi provide constant color in motion. As you meander through the backyard, you will again see more variety of hostas as well as other plants and some whimsical garden art. Tucked under the Weeping Cherry tree is a fairy garden that has been overtaken by a band of ornery gnomes. 

Keith and Nancy feel blessed to share their love of landscaping with each other. They will celebrate their 34th anniversary on June 22 and can think of no better way to celebrate their marriage than be a part of this wonderful community event.

Reclaimed by Grace, owned by Travis and Jami Harrington, will be on hand in the Davis garden with some of their custom-made, locally resourced wood pieces, also available to be purchased.

More from this section

The annual Strawberry Festival continues Saturday and Sunday on the grounds of Lane Place with a variety of food, entertainment, children’s games, vendors, car and tractor shows, athletic events and more. Visit online at www.crawfordsvillestrawberryfestival.com for a complete listing. Read more

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