Gardener Story: Charles McKnight and Randy Shorr

Detroit Shoreway

Charles and Randy  bought their home in 1988. The house had been a boarding house for the previous thirty five years and every inch of the garden was paved over for parking. Once all the cement had been removed they found several inches of sand, which Charles discovered indicates that the land was once lakefront property.  Initially Charles mapped out what he wanted in the garden. They reused  sandstone slabs they found to create walkways and designed and built the deck which wraps around the west side of the house from the back.  A hemlock, weeping cypress, and pussy willow can be found in the back yard. Charles is very proud of his hosta gardens, gladiolus and hydrangeas which bloom prolifically thanks to the coffee grounds he digs in around their roots. Look for ground cherries growing in the backyard. Randy is on the Board of the St Clair Superior Development Corporation and supported the organization by bidding on a tiger and rat statue at their auction. These animals now live in their back yard. Also look for a composter and a rain barrel and admire the vegetables growing in the yard next door which is also owned by the couple.

Charles likes the fact that Cleveland is conveniently located to allow easy access to “the rest of the world”. The cost of living is reasonable and people can afford to live in wonderful houses like theirs. He especially likes living in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood and knows his neighbors on Franklin from 58th to 74th streets.