Susan Cook said she used to have a postage stamp backyard at her rental home in Mt. Lebanon, and she planted a few beds of flowers to brighten up the yard.
"One day I came home and there were these garbage bags sitting by the front door," she said. "I went out back and (the landlord) tore up all the flowers and had them in the garbage bags."
Cook made the move to Moon Township with her husband, where she's lived in a white-paint, 1850s farm house on Maple Street Extension for the past 12 years. She's made the property bloom with roses and locust trees, even using reclaimed stone from a former barn on the property as a walkway in her plush garden.
"My husband said come out here (to Moon) and you can plant whatever you want," she said.
Cook was one of seven local gardeners to feature her home garden in the Moon Township Garden Club's annual tour of homes.
Residents had the chance to peruse the gardens this weekend, and get insight into what makes them flourish, said organization director Susanne Udvari.
"I think this is a good community for gardening," Udvari said, standing in a Shafer Road yard on the tour across from Allard Elementary. "Even over there at the school, I see they've now got some raised flower beds near the building. There are a lot of homes here that garden. There's just an interest in it."
Merrianne Cacali said she and her husband left with poison ivy when they first built their home on Shafer Road in 1978.
"We didn't know it was back there, but it grows naturally on the property," she said.
Cacali said her garden has sprouted around the indigenous plants on the property. Her garden began in one plot in her yard where she planted flowers she'd received as gifts—some from neighbors, others from an aunt, she said.
"I'm a naturalist. There are some plants that just aren't going to grow here because they don't like the soil," she said. "So even some of the weeds, the poison ivy, the wild roses. I just sort of let them grow."
Just a few houses down from Cacali's, Lisa Story has cultivated themed gardens that surround her home—one section features a vegetable garden, others brim with flowers. She and her husband got their green thumbs from their parents, who were also avid gardeners, she said.
"We moved here about 25 years ago," Story said. "You just start out with your normal landscaping, but then you grow it from there. It's sort of just developed over the years."
Click through the photo gallery above to view gardens on the tour.