We all have that special place that we like to go to unwind or enjoy our day off. For some it’s our house, or a certain room, but for Marilyn Loecker it’s her backyard.

Over the past 55 years, Marilyn and her husband, Vern, have worked to make their backyard just right. It has changed and been added to over the years but what remains is that it is Marilyn’s favorite place to enjoy her day. She loves to be out here from early morning to dark. She eats out here, reads out here, and loves to spend her day enjoying the scenery.

The first thing you notice when you step out from the sunroom is the pond. There’s a waterfall, with rocks and landscaping around it. The pond is at least 30 years old and started out as a Mother’s Day project. Marilyn has redone the pond, as it started out a little smaller. She added the landscaping and has changed the waterfall so it has more “rushing water” to it. There are 6 koi in the pond that are 30 years old and original to the pond. They’ve survived this long and have even outlived new koi that Marilyn has tried to add. The fish hibernate when it starts getting cold and go to the bottom of the pond. You have to make sure you leave a space and not let the pond freeze over so the gasses can be released. The green plants help keep the algae out of the pond. The waterfall sound adds a tranquility to the backyard and instantly puts you at ease. (It was very hard leaving her backyard that day, so it’s easy to understand why she spends her day out here.)

After the pond, the next thing to notice is all the plant-life that fills this area. The flowers are old perennials. Marilyn switches them out occasionally, to whatever she finds. She likes to bring back plants from her visits to Wyoming to visit her kids. There’s a salad garden where she likes to pick the ingredients for her salads. She also has herbs near the grill so while she’s grilling she can just pick whatever herb she wants to use. Her favorite flower is the stargazer lily near the grill. It will get about a foot taller and have 10 or 12 lilies.

Near the pond, and shaded by a large tree, is a cute little seating area. This is where Marilyn loves to sit and read, though in the morning she loves to have her coffee and read the paper on the porch. The sun room is her second favorite spot in the house and where she spends her time in the winter when she can’t get outside. Those times are the hardest, as she would much rather be outside than cooped up in the house. From these spots she can see the cardinals, orioles, finches, and woodpeckers that frequent her yard.

The rocks that make the paths around the garden were hauled from local farmers. Which was quite the chore, hauling them into the truck and then out, but is well worth it in the end. After 55 years of putting the love and attention into the backyard it is no surprise that Marilyn Loecker would choose to spend her time in such a beautiful and peaceful space.