Three years ago Dale and Holly Washburn inherited and purchased land from relatives near Watford City. Ever since that time they have been planting & tending to amazing gardens in several designated areas around their home.
Near the front door of the home is a beautiful flower garden filled with many varieties of perennial flowers and ribbon grass. They have also incorporated a wagon wheel, whiskey barrel and a stump from the Big Horn Canyon in Montana. Honey and bumble bees can be seen hovering around the flowers doing their pollination work. The Washburns contract with a beekeeper nearby to keep a steady supply of pollinators close at hand.
On the north end of the property is a good sized garden with many varieties of vegetables. Eggplant, beets, carrots, radishes, lettuce, broccoli, okra, cabbage, hot peppers, butternut squash and decorative gourds are growing in this organic garden. “The gourds have been used in place settings for several fall weddings,” said Holly.
The west end of the property is the “berry” garden. This area includes many smaller boxed in garden areas containing various fruits and berries. There is also a row of apricot, plum and pear trees. The Washburns began working on this area last year and they hope to plant perennials that will return each year. The garden areas fit in with the fire pit forming beautiful landscaping. “We haven’t had one yet but we could have a heck of a party out here,” stated Holly.
The largest garden is at the back of the home. Growing in this area are pumpkins, zucchini, peppers, peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn and potatoes among many other vegetables. At the top of the hill is a long row of healthy Concord grape plants.
The Washburns have used minimal chemicals in all of the gardens. “We have only had problems with rabbits and dear,” stated Holly. They also provide feed for many pheasants. “We are kind of like retired conservationists,” Holly continued.
The Washburns have also used the garden to benefit others in the community. Due to surgeries they have enlisted the help of local 4-Hers to tend to the garden. As part of a junior gardener program, the kids have helped harvest the fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmers market. “Two years ago the 4-H kids donated a portion of the proceeds to help the Minot flood relief effort,” said Holly.
The Washburns also enjoy providing their Yukon potatoes for lefsa and canning their varieties of fruits and vegetables.
From the looks of it, gardening will be Dale and Holly’s passion for many years to come.