The Middendorf Garden has Heritage Blooms and an Antique Barn

The Middendorf home is a farmhouse built in 1920.  It is sited in a grove of mature pecan and oak trees on a 137-acre farm set in rolling scenery just north of Athens.  This land was originally part of the Old King Plantation.  G.H. Thurmond bought it when he returned from the Civil War.  The original antebellum mansion burned in the late 1800s.

 Many gardeners have left their mark on the land.  Eloise Thurmond Maxwell planted thousands of daffodils, daylilies, and iris that bloom each spring.  More recently, several individual garden areas have evolved as a result of Karen’s passion for plants.  As you stroll around the farm you will see a fruit orchard, a brand new, fenced vegetable garden, a formal herb garden, large perennial beds, a Japanese garden with koi pond, and many varieties of antique roses along the fence.  A white rose named ‘Frau Karl Druschki’ was given to Wayne Middendorf’s grandmother by her husband on their first wedding anniversary.  Other roses include ‘New Dawn’, ‘Penelope’ and ‘Cecile Brunner’.  Throughout the farm there are generous plantings of mature shrubs and trees, which add to the feeling of permanence and tradition.

 Included in our tour is a large, 200 year old working horse barn of great charm and character.  Karen painted the nine-foot Hex sign herself.  The “Silverthorn” name of the horse stables has fine connotations for the Middendorf family.  Above the stables and under the eaves is a huge wood-floored open space which is used for family gatherings.  From here the visitor may survey the farm and the open countryside beyond.



Helen Kuykendall