There is no doubt about it. When you drive into Ron and Linda Maher’s farm, you are in John Deere Country. A John Deere flag proudly flies over their land off tof he Jerico blacktop by Lawler. What you might not spot right away, is their large pond that covers about a half acre, surrounded by manicured lawns and landscaped flower gardens hidden by evergreens along the road. The pond here was made in 1986, and the house built later in 2004. The Mahers enjoy entertaining with family and friends around their pond. Part of the pond, by their dock is not very deep. A great place to swim. The pond slowly gets deeper, to about twenty feet, making it a great place to fish as well as wade. The family was lucky enough to have natural clay where the pond was dug in, so no liner of any kind was needed to hold the water.
Linda and Ron both grew up on farms with gardens. Linda found her grandmother, Alice Uhlenhake, to be her inspiration when it comes to flowers. Looking at all the landscaping on the large lawn, extending into a grove of 140 Evergreens, it easy to see that she inherited her grandmother’s green thumb indeed. Additionally, twenty-five ornamental and shade trees billow around their home and pond.
Linda laughs, as she remarks, “It isn’t always easy to keep the flowers looking nice on the farm. Once Ron’s “hobby” beef cattle got out and one could be seen carrying my garden flag in his mouth as people drove by, besides getting into my flowers. Other times, we've have had problems with kid’s dogs racing through the flowers."
The Meyer's lawn takes more than two hours to mow, if each spouse hops on their riding lawn mowers, though usually Ron does the mowing. The large and small landscape rocks that anchor the pond and the flower gardens were taken from their own farmland. Landscape gardens are adorned with antique farm machinery or farm related items, so appropriate for this special place. They have a two row John Deere corn planter, horse drawer wooden wagon, old water pumps, one row horse bottom plows, old milk cans, crocks, as well as old wooden and metal wheels intertwined among the countless perennials and annuals. Linda likes perennials because they come up each year without re-planting, and likes to use annuals to finish up the spaces. She is always busy changing things around and thinning out the perennials, in addition to keeping up with the all of her many flowers. Just watering them all, with flower gardens spaced so far apart, is a chore, but Linda loves it. One of Mrs. Maher's favorite flowers are her Knock out Roses, because they blooms all summer. She also loves begonias because of the exotic flare they give to the Iowa landscape.
The Maher’s relish in the slow-paced country life and their beautiful landscape as they relax with family and friends these beautiful spring and summer evenings. Wide open spaces, a tranquil pond, and loved ones to share in it all with? No wonder they hate to leave the farm!