Mastering the art and science of gardening: Kaye and Red Doud’s Pond and Garden

From the Putnam County Sentenial – The Putnam County Master Gardener Volunteers Present: Gardeners of Putnam County. This is the ninth in a series appearing in the Sentinel every other week into October. Each article shares the experience of a different Putnam County gardener, focusing on a particular garden project or feature that brings the gardener joy

In 2004 Kaye and Sheldon “Red” Doud, then of the New Jersey Shore, retired and moved to Putnam County to be near their family. Over several months’ time they took turns driving the distance to settle their possessions in a home with a deep lot above the Blanchard River west of Kalida. To carry on their love of gardening, they brought treasured plants and fish and water lilies from Red’s pond in New Jersey. On weekends Red rented a backhoe and dug a bigger and better pond that features a waterfall splashing down a rocky slope. The pond became the hub of an extensive garden that Kaye and Red have steadily expanded outward.

Today the pond and garden complex is anchored on one end by their home and on the other by a massive, ancient white oak and other trees above the Blanchard. The transplanted water lilies and a fringe of cattails, both native and dwarf, flourish in the pond. Rocks accumulated from their travels around the country border the edge, many of them fossils from Tennessee and Colorado. Several waves of raised beds reach out from the pond with sand, gravel, and river stone paths running between. More raised beds and paths extend into the shade on the south side of the property and around the house. The beds are lush with shrubs and perennials, which Kaye prefers to annuals. “My first garden came from Springhill Nursery near Dayton,” Kaye says. She has continued to add “whatever suits my fancy.”

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