Marl Farmhouse offers gardens along the river

The 20th Just Gardens tour September 13-14 will feature one public and three private gardens. Three of the gardens are on Main Street in Reedville and the other is nearby.

The tour, which benefits The Haven Shelter & Services, combines garden design ideas with plant information, said CJ Carter. Master Gardeners and homeowners will be on site during the tour to answer questions and share information.

Tour sites will include the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum, 504 Main Street, Reedville; The Dey Cottage, 691 Main Street, Reedville; Ebb Tide, 441 Main Street, Reedville; and the Marl Farmhouse, 2398 Fairport Road, Reedville.

Just Gardens 2019 hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Tickets, $25, may be purchased at or Dreams Fashion Boutique, 684 Jessie duPont Memorial Highway, Suite 2, Burgess; The Dandelion, 4372 Irvington Road, Irvington; and The Shoppe for Haven’s Sake, 5762 Richmond Road, Warsaw; or call 333-1099.

Tickets will be available at each garden on tour days.

Marl Farmhouse

Deborah and Fred Marl enjoy life on 20 acres of open spaces, gardens, horse pastures and views of the Great Wicomico River. The old farmhouse was purchased in 1998 and the Marl’s made it their home in 2005.

The two-story house, abandoned for nearly 20 years sat in an open field with nothing but old growth trees and views of the river.

Not a bad place to start,” said D. Marl. “There were no gardens, just potential at every turn,” and every turn is where a garden grows today.

The house is surrounded by informal beds of perennials and shrubs; each one better than the last.

Oxalis Brasiliensis is my workhorse,” she said. “It gives all of the beds continuity and cohesion because it leads your eye from one garden to the next. The more workhorses you have in a garden, the better. In September Asters lead the parade.”

A pergola extends across the back of the house keeping the western sun at bay and providing an inviting place to dine, visit or sip morning coffee. Several sheds and outbuildings create the backdrop for additional garden areas.

The mix of plant material is interesting in the combinations of height, bloom time and color. The sheer amount of plant material makes this garden a must-see, said Carter.