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Harrison City home is a visionary delight for visitors to the area

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
An old-fashioned cottage garden with a white picket fence is part of the lush display of color in Anita Dezelan's garden.
A pond and waterfall in Anita Dezelan's yard bring the garden to life.
Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Gardner Anita Dezelan poses in her Harrison City area garden with her grandchildren Zakk Dezelan and Amber Caldwell.

Sitting on the porch at Anita Dezelan's house off of Route 993 near Jeannette is a visionary delight.

Everywhere a visitor turns an eye, there are cultivated flowers, trees, a pond with a small waterfall, and bird houses line the driveway.

Dezelan has lived in the Harrison City area for most of her life. She and her husband, Jack, have lived in their house for the past 20 years. The couple are parents of five adult children and they have two grandchildren.

Jack Dezelan is retired from Pittsburgh Recycling and Anita Dezelan is not working right now because she had foot surgery last year. According to Dezelan, the surgery hampered her gardening greatly because she was having a hard time getting around.

Prior to her surgery, Dezelan was employed by Plant Essentials. Located in Pennsylvania, according to their website, Plant Essentials serves 650 big box stores in 26 states and four Canadian provinces.

The company stocks the stores with live plants and trees. Dezelan was employed by Plant Essentials to serve the local Lowe's stores.

“I would bring the plants in and take care of them and pull the clearance items. It was a nice job other than moving trees,” said Dezelan. She has also been employed at Johnston the Florist on Route 30 across the highway from Home Depot. At Johnston's, Dezelan “planted, potted, put a garden in — whatever they needed,” she said.

Working in the gardening field has allowed Dezelan to exercise her green thumb and figure out what will grow and what won't.

“I only buy thing things that are dead, for a buck,” Dezelan said, with a laugh.

However, after that statement she proceeds to describe a tree that was dead and is now thriving near her water feature, and shows a beautiful white begonia that she was able to keep alive throughout the winter by letting it go dormant and storing it in her garage. Dezelan is proud of the orchids that grow near her water pond, and said there are 16 varieties of orchids that grow in Pennsylvania. Of her pond, she said, “We dug and a hole and slapped it in. My neighbors say, ‘If you have rock you better nail it down, because Anita will take it.'”

The pond and most of Dezelan's beds are bordered with local rocks. She has plans to put in another pond in her backyard that will be 20 feet by 40 feet. Dezelan said she is always moving things, “the landscape is always changing. It's a challenge because I want everything right now.”

Dezelan also has a 72-year-old mentor whose mother was a botanist and is able to advise Dezelan on planting issues.

“I can call her on the phone and describe a plant and she can tell me what it is. She is amazing.”

Porch View is an ongoing feature in The Jeannette Spirit that enables residents to show off the view from their front — or back — porches. Floral gardens, decorative outdoor areas, landcapes, a relaxing residential oasis or a hardworking edible garden, any view that city residents are proud of can be featured in Porch View.

Call 724-838-5154 or send email to to suggest an outdoor space.

Margie Stanislaw is a contributing writer.

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