• Last modified 3289 days ago (July 21, 2010)


So will this gardener's flowers, but only once a year

Staff writer

Jack Kerbs experienced an event last week that he anticipates every summer: His perennial hibiscus started to bloom.

Kerbs has three perennial hibiscus in his garden at 320 S. Freeborn St., Marion. An 8-foot-tall hibiscus in the sunniest part of his backyard was filled with 20 maroon-colored flowers, about 10 inches in diameter, a week ago.

Kerbs also has two slightly shorter hibiscus on the west side of his house: one that featured a few white blooms and another that had a few dark red flowers.Both should be fully blooming in the next couple of weeks.

Perennial hibiscus bloom for about a week once a year. The flowers reach their maximum size, then fall off the plant.

“Once I tried to take one off and put it in water and try to keep it,” Kerbs said. “It folded up in my home overnight.”

The plants are just part of an expansive flower garden Kerbs has created at his home. When he and his wife, Treva, moved to their house on South Freeborn Street three years ago, there wasn’t a semblance of a garden. Now, flowering plants line most of the house.

Landscaping has been Kerbs hobby since retiring from Kansas Department of Transportation after 44 years.

“I’ve just always loved flowers and love to grow things,” Kerbs said. “It takes up a lot of my time.”

Last modified July 21, 2010