The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner
Those attending the second annual "Dirty Hands" Garden and Art Walk in Oquawka this past Saturday were pleasantly surprised by the wonderful treasurers you could find in the yards of neighbors.
Eleven homes were listed on a nicely arranged brochure with one or two artisans in each yard who were showing their wonderful art work.
One of the stops is shown here of Kathy Walker and Jim Wiegand's beautiful and restful waterfall garden and Koi pond.
The Koi is an expensive Japanese fish known for its more colorful appearance. There are 13 Koi with 100 babies, and a few gold fish. Kathy has almost trained the Koi to eat out of her hand.
Her garden has water coming out of an antique hand pump, and a teapot, as well as the circulating water fall. There are several statues including "Ellie Mae" fishing, a fairy, a girl with a flower, another with a harp, and an adorable little boy on his stomach holding the leg of a frog.
The expansion of her ponds came about after Jim's mother Mary Moyers, recently passed away of health problems in her 50's. She was dear to their hearts and after she was cremated, her ashes were put around a newly planted tree in their yard. She dearly loved the sounds of the water falling over the rocks so they decided to expand the pond closer to where her ashes are.
Different colors of water lilies, water grass, water lettuce, hibiscus and other plants make the garden the peaceful haven they were looking for Jim's mom. "I feel her presence all the time here," Kathy said. "It is so peaceful."
Kathy's dad, Dwight Walker (on the right) and friend Harold Boyson were making beautiful arrowheads from Obsidian -natural glass - that they purchase from all over the world.
Glass comes from Oregon, California, India, and all over the world, he said, to make different colors and types of arrowheads.
Dwight has been learning the trade just a couple years, and Harold for over six years.
Dwight runs a turtle business in Morning Sun, Iowa using a broker to ship them to China.
Harold, also of Morning Sun, is employed at Heinz in Muscatine, Iowa.
The arrowhead display will again be at the Oquawka Museum during Heritage Trails in September, Harold said. He enjoys showing youngsters or anyone who wants to know, how to do the craft.
Another artisan at the Walker-Wiegand residence was Ron James owner of James Insurance.
James set up his blacksmith shop and displayed many beautiful iron crafts that he makes.
There were candelabras, camp fire sets, garden tools, a pot and pan rack for the kitchen, and several unique pieces like this dinner bell or " ship's" bell that he has displayed here in the above picture.
James will be displaying items once again during the Heritage Trails at Weirs' Fruit Farm, he said.
Others on the walk were Genevieve Felt (riverfront landscaping), Alex Phelps House (Underground Railroad Home), Leonard and Carolyn Anderson (100 varieties of hostas), Bill and Sandra Moody (water feature on the river), Paul and Rhonda Olson (formal and rustic gardens), Diane Meldrum (secluded backyard retreat), Mike Meyer (butterfly garden), Vern & Bev Alecock (touch of country), Mike & Wanda Cook (perennials), Alvie and Becky Tee (a certified wildlife habitat for bird watching).
Other Artisans were:
June Galbraith (needle art), Rachel Haynes (iron sculptor), Linda Sickmon (pottery), Nancy Stevenson (wheat weaving), Jeff Peterson (log sculptor), Kathie Curtiss (handwoven baskets), Ramona Bailey (nature inspired craft pins), Don Hale (steel lawn ornaments), Joan Hale (Beads & Jewelry), Wendy Allaman (lampwork beads), Debbie Eckley (jewelry), and Mary Dunn (painting).
If you missed this year's event, it will be back as it has become an annual event in Oquawka.
Also, you can come to the Stronghurst Booster Club's July 15th Garden Walk.
Kathy Walker and Jim Wiegand's beautiful and restful waterfall garden and Koi pond
Dwight Walker (on the right) and friend Harold Boyson were making beautiful arrowheads from Obsidian -natural glass
Ron James set up his blacksmith shop and displayed many beautiful iron crafts that he makes.