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Couple shares garden creativity

They build an oasis in the desert


Last updated 5/16/2020 at 12:16pm | View PDF

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

The orchid greenhouse, where the magic begins.

Bob and Barbara Reeves share a love for gardening, and their front and backyards are great testimony to their passion.

Barbara was born in Porterville; however, Bob is Wasco born and raised. The two married 58 years ago.

They built the house they live in. It was the same house they had constructed when they lived in Porterville, kept the same plans and rebuilt it in Wasco, where they have lived for 27 years.

Barbara says that they were quite a party couple that liked to go big while decorating for holidays, such as Christmas and Halloween. Their house was always the party place where friends, neighbors and co-workers gathered to celebrate just about anything.

One of Bob's jobs included his managing the old Paola's Top of the Hill bowling alley in Bakersfield. At the same time, Barbara worked at the Wasco office of Finance and Thrift.

Their house is one of the fully landscaped homes on Sunset. Topiaries are placed throughout the front yard, and the main sculpture is Barbara's. "She's in charge of creating the bushes into animal sculptures," Bob said. "She's been doing it for years."

As you enter the sidewalk to their front yard, the sound of water his noticeable. Hidden on one side of the driveway is a lush area with two Koi ponds that have water hitting the ponds through them. The greenery and the Koi ponds are very tropical, with lush green palms and lots of rock. This is not something expected in the dry dessert of Wasco.

The inside of their house is almost as green as the outside. There are plants throughout the house that give it a cool, fresh-air feeling, and with the ceiling fans swirling, the leaves rustle as if you are outside enjoying a summer breeze.

In the living room, Bob has his own tiki bar, with a large stuffed brown bear with a lei around its neck nearby. This is where Bob relaxes and enjoys tending bar at parties.

On their living room wall is the family crest and genealogy plaques for both families. One of Barbara's passions is researching their family history.

Barbara mentioned that both she and Bob's families came over on the Mayflower. They have been able to trace their ancestors back that far.

Upon entering their backyard, a large crystal-blue swimming pool beckons someone to jump in and cool off during the hot summer days and evenings.

Another special holiday for the Reeves is Christmas. They are well-known for their lights displayed outside and their automated Christmas decorations inside their garage. "Our house was the house to see at Christmas time," Barbara said. "We stopped decorating a couple of years ago."

Both are crazy about poodles. They unexpectedly got their first poodle a year after they were married, when Bob brought one home from work to nurse its broken leg. Barbara was adamant that they were not going to keep it because "dogs don't belong inside the house," she said.

"She changed her mind after a couple of weeks and wouldn't let the dog out of her sight. It was love after only a couple of weeks," Bob said.

Now, their home is graced by the presence of two brown poodles. At one time Barbara said that they had six poodles.

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

Bob Reeves attending to his orchids.

There are three greenhouses on the property behind the pool.

It is almost impossible to count the number of plants in the greenhouses. Hundreds are in small repotting containers where both have divided plants and repotted them. A fan constantly blows in each of the greenhouses to keep the air circulating.

Bob has in the past and currently runs the Orchid Plantation, where he raises several different kinds and colors of orchids and sells them. "This is the first year we didn't make it over to Santa Barbara to the orchid show," Barbara said. "The virus kept us away."

Both have traveled extensively, Bob several times around the world and Barbara once around the world. "I love Malaysia," Barbara said. "Didn't like Guam too much. There isn't anything there."


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