Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Arne & Dolly’s Springtime Delight

Arne and his 'pride & joy'

“We’d like you and Ellen to come over this afternoon to look around our gardens,” Dolly said. “It’s just so beautiful right now.”

Dolly and Arne live in Laurel, in Prince George’s County just a mile or two from Burtonsville. They built their home on a wooded lot 48 years ago. He’s a retired medical technologist, she a retired nurse.

“Here’s my pride and joy,” Arne said, pointing to a wisteria with cascading lavender blooms. The wisteria and nearby lily-of-the-valley flowers perfumed the whole back yard.

Arne and Dolly showed us their favorites now in bloom: dogwoods, azaleas, hibiscus, pansies, daffodils, camellias, a goldenchain tree, and forget-me-nots.

Dolly (r.) shows Ellen a birthday azalea
“Last winter was hard on our azaleas,” Arne said. “The snow broke many branches. We have about half the flowers we had last year.” The azaleas in bloom indicated Arne likes new double-flowered varieties as well as the native variety that grows in Maryland woodlands. “Yes, they grow wild right in the woods just across the street,” he explained. Dolly gives him a new azalea variety every year for his birthday.

A delightful view
After the leisurely tour, we relaxed on their patio shaded by towering oaks and took in the colorful springtime scene.

Arne said he has lots of work to do in the garden—weeding, mulching, turning a rose bed into a bed for giant mums.

“Let’s go inside,” Dolly said. “Arne will show you pictures of the moon flowers he grew last summer.”

“I’ll call you when the moon flowers bloom,” Arne said, as we nibbled on Danish cookies and enjoyed hot drinks. “Each bloom opens at night and lasts only a few hours into the next morning’s light.”

What a relaxing visit and a delightful view—towering oaks and evergreens—a rainbow of springtime flowers—but best of all two happy friends reveling in the beauty of the gardens they have created and tended for nearly 50 years.


  1. We love them. We became friends at Sligo-by-the Sea but didn't realize that they were avid gardeners! They are a wonderful couple! Arne speaks German to our grandson every summer at the shore.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful addition to the news about the class! I share their enthusiasm for the spring beauty, both the azaleas and the wisteria!

  3. Orlando MastrapaMay 5, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    We love Arne's garden, and we appreciate even more the perfume of their friendship.