Nestled in a mountain canyon where Hemingway spent his summers, Queen Elizabeth II popped by to visit friends, and rodeo is still a main event, lies the cultivated oasis of Ford Ranch. Acquired by Joan F. Wallick and Robert L. Wallick Sr. in 1968, the sprawling Wyoming residence is captured by director Albert Moya for NOWNESS’s weekly Great Gardens series.
“I was inspired by meeting the kind of dreamer who has, and still is, working on making her stories real,” says the filmmaker of Ms Wallick, an accomplished pilot whose obsessive passion for collecting spans insects, Christmas ornaments (32,656), and over 400 varieties of plants in 35 acres. It’s a marvel to discover radiant blue delphinium spires, hundreds of hostas and the apothecary rose Rosa gallica officinalis blooming alongside the grave of Wallick’s late wolf, Eeyore (winters dip to -30 and summers experience 100 degree heat punctuated by huge thunderstorms).
“Part of the joy of gardening lies in the challenge of this environment,” explains Wallick, who has built fences to keep the mountain lions, bears and deer at bay, enabling her manicured paradise to flourish. “I’ve got the urge to plant one of everything and see what it looks like,” she adds. “But that’s for next year.”