Gardener Story: Terry Mitchell


In the 6 years Terry has lived in this house he has created a paradise in his back yard. The front yard is beautiful too and gives a hint to what a visitor will find in the back.

The front yard is only about 4 feet deep with a beautiful custom made iron fence. Red Hot Pokers, hosta, ferns and an azalea bush grow in the attractive rock edged beds in the front. Terry loves to collect architectural objects and use them in his gardens. He has many bird baths, statues, old bricks removed when Broadway was repaved and pavers used to create interesting garden features. A previous owner of the house worked for a company that made headstones, and granite pavers and borders can be found throughout the garden. Terry has created a peaceful patio close to the house in the back, separating the patio from the rest of the garden are two ponds with lotus plants and fish and a number of water features that create a soothing sound.The heat of the day falls away as one crosses a wooden bridge over the ponds and enters the rest of the garden in the back. The only lawn on this property is a small area for his dogs, otherwise the garden is divided into beds with shade loving perennials and fascinating ornamental features throughout the back yard. There is a pergola, covered with a 50 year old wisteria, where meals can be served. Terry has been told that the wisteria plant was transported from France by a previous owner of the house. It sat on her lap for the entire trip as she was afraid it would be damaged in the overhead compartment.Terry has a hard time keeping the string of lights over the pergola from being chewed by squirrels.

Terry was born in Slavic Village and attended some elementary school here . His parents moved the family to Streetsboro in 1969 and then to Bainbridge in 1975. He moved back to Cleveland as an adult and eventually ended up back in his old neighborhood. He works as a waiter ast Bone Fish restaurant and says he has "always been a gardener" creating beauty where ever he has lived.