During the summer season, Mary Louise Kissell, of Williamsport, received a phone call from Viola Pfleegor, program chairwoman of the Northern Montour Home and Garden Club.
Pfleegor wanted to see if the club could visit Kissell's home and gardens after reading about it in the Sun-Gazette last year. She also wanted to invite Kissell to the club's luncheon Sept. 18 at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.
The weekend before the tour, the weather forcast predicted rain, but Pfleegor said the club would come, even if they had to bring ponchos and umbrellas.
This area of Mary Louise Kissell’s garden features an Italian water fountain and etagere amidst part of the 45 hydrangeas in a hideaway backyard. Kissell said the limelight hydrangea makes an elegant backdrop and the cones were 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
However, the club ladies arrived for the tour when they did not need their rain gear.
Kissell said she was delighted to share her Grampian Boulevard gardens. The ladies noted how devoted and passionate she is about presenting exquisite and enchanting gardens.
Kissell told the group that she is a natural-born artistic designer with an innovative spirit in her gardens who loves to use her sense of color and pattern.
Kissell said she is "relentless in her quest of art and architecture in a garden, especially since her mother and Austrian-born grandmother gave her free reign in their respective gardens at a very young age."
During the event, Kissell told the guests that it is "absolutely divine to be outside and connect flowers and art for their beauty." She told the group that flowers and art are her work and her heart. Kissell said that many of her garden inspirations come from the traveling she did with her late husband.
"While in Germany, Barry and I?found a charming metal turquoise cat with white polka dots and a pink mouse on its tail," she said. "Also, in Paris, we found small watercolor paintings of Monet's famous gardens."
Two stained-glass birdbaths and stained-glass stepping stones are fixtures in the garden.
Pfleegor said her club was organized in 1947 with Dorothy Sartwell as current president.
The Northern Montour Home and Garden Club has 12 to 15 members and Bessie Whitmayer is a 25-year member. The group holds many events such as a gardening seminar, flower shows and dinners.
Recently, the club participated in the annual Heritage Days, held Oct. 6 and 7 in Turbotville. The ladies presented their crafts of quilting and knitting at the fair.
Pfleegor lives on a 500-acre farm with her husband and five children. They all grow vegetables and flowers and raise cattle.
Sandra Hendricks, District V director, was a guest. An afternoon English tea party is being planned for next year.