Gerri and Steve Delaney's garden in Mount Lebanon.

A quality garden is an evolving mixture of the old and new. Sometimes the new is a gift from a close friend, or a branch that you happened to snag from your trip abroad, or even refurbishing an old landscape.

Two neighbors have taken thoughtful approaches to incorporate the older parts of their garden into something new.

Geri and Steve Delaney have built a garden that is a conglomeration of gifted plants and carefully smuggled plants from abroad. Kerry and Bill Boehner inherited an impressive garden and have worked to preserve it by a new pool. Both properties are featured on the Mt. Lebanon Library Garden Tour from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 9. Let’s take a look inside.


It’s hard to believe but Ms. Delaney, a retired horticultural therapist, has two fig trees and an olive tree bearing fruit. The 4-year old potted fig tree is from Italy, and a 7-year-old fig planted in the garden is from Greece. The 13-year-old olive tree is also from Italy.

“I was abroad and couldn’t leave without cutting from the trees, “ she said. “I’m lucky customs didn’t catch me.”

Her secret to keep the potted trees alive is a small greenhouse on the patio. During the colder months, she takes them inside. Next to the trees is a small potted succulent she got from Portugal.

The garden contains many gifts from friends and family. In the driveway is a paper birch tree that she got as gift from her children 22 years ago. In the left corner of the garden sits a blue spruce her daughter got for Earth Day more than 25 years ago.

A metal watering can that a friend gave her over 10 years ago sits next to a bed of white daisies that another friend gave her. The 10-finger…