A Haven in The Hideout

If you name it, I probably have it,” says Cathy Long. Her Hamlin, PA property, which measures just under an acre, features beautiful flowers, lush foliage and medicinal herbs. Cathy and her husband, Richard, have enjoyed tending to their backyard located in the residential community called, The Hideout, since 1992.

Cathy grew up on a farm outside of Honesdale. She always loved gardening, both inside and out, and serves as a Penn State Master Gardener and chairman of the Wayne County Fair Booth. She began cultivating her garden after her husband decided to put a horseshoe pit in the backyard. Cathy began to terrace to protect the rocks and roots, and the garden grew from there.

Every piece of the garden was built by hand, including the waterfall and small koi pond. The waterfall is the focal point of the garden—ferns surround the tranquil pond and koi fish tread through the water. Decorative stones dot the garden pathways, all of which came from the backyard.

Perennials comprise 99 percent of Cathy’s flowers, which she often cultivates from seeds. Bee balm, rose campion, wild violets, lilies, daisies and a variety of hydrangeas are some of the countless flowers present. Along with flowers, Cathy grows fresh vegetables that she can cook and share. She grinds medicinal herbs to make salves and ointments. Though Cathy also displays a few hanging baskets, they are a favorite of hungry deer.

Hungry wildlife is one of the biggest obstacles that Cathy and Richard face. “Nothing is ever deer-proof,” Richard says. They combat the pests by spraying their plants with homemade Liquid Fence and have planted ornamental grass that the deer won’t touch. Last summer, The Hideout removed 300 deer and gave the meat to local food banks, feeding over 600 people and protecting neighborhood gardens at the same time.

Richard calls the garden Cathy’s, “play.” She is out tending to her flowers almost every day. In turn, Cathy dubbed Richard, “Manual” because of all of the hard work he does. He helps to lift and build things and plows the lawn for the coming season. After a day of toiling in the garden, the couple retreats to the outdoor seating area overlooking the lawn. Each night, they can sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful view of their background oasis. –Megan Kane