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Beds, buds and blooms Greenbush couple shares love of flowers

The serene Fairy garden features a beautiful assortment of flowers, lawn ornaments, native grasses and much more. It is also a haven for various species of birds. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

David and Deb Dokken point out the wild grapes that are growing in their Memorial garden. The garden also includes a different rose that has been planted in memory of each of their loved ones who has passed on. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

These rose-colored flowers are known as “Norwegian Hollyhocks” – their real name is “Mallow”. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

Wherever one looks there are flowers, flowers, and more flowers. They could easily be described as a part of David and Deb Dokken’s “Welcome Wagon” whenever one arrives at their residence north of Greenbush.
This couple shares the love of flowers. So much that they have at least six flower gardens and each one has a name.
The Fairy garden, which is out back of their house, holds a variety of flowers, native grasses, fairy and flower ornaments, wind chimes, solar lights, and for the birds, feeders, houses and bird baths.
The beautiful Memorial garden is flanked on three sides by a two and a half foot high impressive wall of flat rocks that David built.
“In this garden a different rose has been planted for each of our loved ones who have passed away,” Deb commented. “The first one was a yellow rose in memory of my grandmother.”
This is also where one will find wild grapes growing which Deb uses for preserves. The grapes originally came from the Pelan Park area.
There is also the Tulip bed, Perennial bed, Lilly bed, and a colorful one along the backside of the house which contains towering hollyhocks and three-foot tall “Norwegian hollyhocks” or “Mallow”, along with many other colorful varieties.
Deb said when starting flowers from seed it’s done in the house. “I put them on the fireplace or on regular heating pads. The pads are expensive so that’s where the fireplace comes in handy. When the seedlings have grown to where they usually have a couple of leaves they go under grow lights. Once they are big enough they are then planted into little six or eight pack containers and then David brings up our little portable greenhouse.”
“The greenhouse is on skids,” David explained. “I made it out of decking board and treated 4×4’s for skids. The framework is screwed to the skid floor and plastic is then pulled down over the framework. I pull it with the Ranger to the back door of the house where Debbie has an outdoor work space and it stays there until it isn’t needed any longer, then it’s pulled back again.”
This is the first year their four-legged friends took a liking to the Dokken’s tulips.
“The deer just nipped the buds right off,” David said. “They didn’t bother the rest of the plant at all.”
To see the full story, read the July 25 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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