Garden Of The Week 2017-2018 Series 12
Proudly Presents

Kyle & Gene Billadeau
Chaska, Minnesota
 flag USA

"Welcome to Turtle Rock Gardens"

spacerIn the spring of 2015, we purchased a lake home about 75 miles northwest of our home in Chaska, MN. The idea was to move the garden to the lake in 2015, and sell our house the next spring, and move into a city townhome until we retire someday.

spacerLike many Minnesotans, we looked forward to spending work weeks at home, and weekends at the lake. I knew that a downsized garden would be better as I age, so I excitedly began selecting the 200 registered daylilies and 100 seedlings to make the journey to the new garden.

spacerLittle did I know how much physical effort would be involved in this move! Although I sold or gave away 3/4 of my garden art, and held massive daylily sales that summer, every weekend I filled my truck to the limit with plants, garden art, stepping stones, garden tools and fieldstones for the new garden. That's right - fieldstones. Before we listed the house, I wheeled as many boulders as I could to my truck, and filled it until the tires started to sink, many many times. My kids groaned as I asked them to help me load "just one more time."

 Kyle Billadeau

spacerThe new garden was carved out of a grassy back yard, tucked into the woods at the back of the house. Although there is plenty of sun in front of the house, I did not know if the deer would be a problem, so I limited my garden beds to the back which could be fenced if needed. As it turns out, no deer yet, and the geese stay in front by the lake. Although I have been visited by peacocks and mink which escaped from area farms.

spacer We hired a landscaper to remove the sod and build the garden beds from a fertile mix of pine bark mulch and chicken compost. Over 100 bobcat trips were made from the driveway up to the back yard in the process. An irrigation system was installed that draws from the lake; adding even more organic material as it waters the gardens. The garden flourished, and my favorite time of day now is morning when I make a cup of tea and walk out my kitchen door to enjoy sunrise in the garden.

Email Kyle Billadeau at

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