Feature Stories:
Exotic Perennial Garden
beautifies Dublin Residence
By Lisa Perry
The Southwest Times, Pulaski, VA, August 30, 2009

If you were to drive through a neighborhood on the outskirts of Dublin off highway 11, you might just happen upon an extraordinary garden. With the exception of a few pathways, the entire yard, both in the front and back of the property, is planted in daylilies, perennials, wildflowers, and grasses. A number of them are unusual, rare or endangered.
Larry Altizer grew up in and around Radford. He comes from a long line of natives of this part of the country. His family came to the area in 1752, and they have been farmers here for eleven generations. Both sets of his grandparents had farms, so he has many happy memories of helping with the work there and of learning an appreciation and love for plants from an early age.
He chose teaching as his profession, got his masters degree from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and taught math at Pulaski Middle School for twenty-six years. He then taught at Cana over in Carroll County for five more. The hunger for gardening never left him, though, and he retired from teaching to start a landscaping company at his home in Dublin. Although he is no longer landscaping, he continues to sell plants from there and from the small daylily farm that he set up near Fairlawn.
When he bought his house in 1978, he planted mostly roses on the property. In 1983, he purchased a few perennials, and that passion developed into a collection of over three hundred varieties. In ’96 he bought a few daylilies, then fifty more the following year and fifty more the year after that. Now he has 350 varieties of lilies, many which cannot be found anywhere else in this part of the state.
Larry’s lilies range in size and form from hybrid daylilies to Asiatic, Oriental, Trumpet and Orienpet varieties. The Orienpets are a cross between the Oriental and Trumpet varieties. The Orientals are much larger than the others and the stems grow much taller as well. They tower over many of the other varieties that can also be found blooming in his garden starting in the spring and lasting through June and much of July.
Many of his perennials are wildflowers. When asked where his passion for wildflowers originated, Larry reflects back to his Grandmother Aker’s farm when he was a boy. There was a field out near her vegetable garden behind the house where he remembers spectacular displays of wildflowers, especially in the fall. Joe Pyeweed, cardinal flower, purple stem asters, ironweed, and boneset are some of the ones he remembers from there so he has them in his garden now. He also has penstemons, garden phlox, and the native smooth phlox, numerous varieties of black-eyed Susan or rudbeckia including Mexican redcap rudbeckia and Dumbo’s ears rudbeckia. He has Echinacea, or coneflowers, Victor Jones anemones, columbines, sedums, milkweed, skull cap, prairie blazing star, Brazilian verbena, gaillardia, balloon flowers, numerous varieties of asters, althea or rose of Sharon, astilbes, rose turtle head, buddleia or butterfly bush, and various mallows including hollyhocks. Among the flowers, he has planted a variety of sizes and shapes of ornamental grasses including bluestem, Indian, and zebra grasses.
Larry loves penstemons and he calls himself a “penstemaniac.” He says that he started giving away plants in’96 because he needed to divide them to keep them healthy and also because he needed to make more room for the new ones that he wanted to purchase next. Then in ’99 he started selling them at the Radford Farmer’s Market downtown at Farmer’s Market Square. He jokes that he needed to start selling them to support his overwhelming habit and desire to purchase more.
He enjoys traveling the roads searching for nurseries, gardens and arboretums. He has traveled to various parts of the country including Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia and New Mexico looking for different and interesting plants that he can bring back and acclimate to this part of the country. He insists that that he will not use a greenhouse for any of the plants he sells. That way, he knows they will be able to adapt to the winters here and thrive in this climate.
Larry’s garden can be found at 6058 Dolphus Ave. in Dublin, and he is open by appointment. He can be reached at 540-674-8251 or by emailing daylilies6058@earthlink.net.

Windy Hill Stained Glass Studio
is Clator Lake Hideaway
By Lisa Perry
The Southwest Times, Pulaski, VA, September, 2009

Driving around the countryside over by Claytor Lake, you might be surprised when you come upon Windy Hill Stained Glass Studio. It is a cute little shop that kind of pops up out of nowhere on Lead Mine Road outside of Hiwassee.
The building itself has quite a diverse history. It was built in the 1960’s, and has been a grocery store, a bar, an asphalt sales office, a landscape office, a hamburger joint, and now a stained glass studio. It started out as a grocery store that was part of the Wertz farm, and they sold their produce there.
The farmhouse just up the hill above the studio was built in the 1930’s and is part of the original farm that includes sixty-seven acres. Cindy Schaeffer and her husband Raymond bought the place about eighteen years ago, and they have slowly but surely made improvements to the property over those years. Raymond owns Built Right Construction and so has the knowledge and talent for rebuilding and repair. They have made some repairs on the barn and out buildings, and they have built a lovely little green house, complete with a piece of stained glass, and vegetable garden space in the small valley behind the studio. They have some cattle and are hoping to be able to have horses and more farm animals as they continue their improvements.
The studio had to be gutted and rebuilt from the inside. Now it has a space with lots of windows and light in the front for displaying the stained glass, and a work room in the back where Cindy crafts her pieces as well as teaches classes in the art of stained glass construction.  She built a lovely flower garden in the front of the studio with a picket fence and an artistically crafted walkway. It is full of flowers in season. Cindy made a stained glass awning for the front door, and designed the sign that hangs above it.
She took a class in stained glass work twenty-one years ago, and has been “addicted to it” ever since. She had done a wide variety of different types of art before that, but something about working with glass clicked for her. She says that the sewing, woodwork, gardening and painting all came together out of her past to culminate in the glass art. She loves the colors and textures and varieties of shapes involved, and her pieces reflect that love and perspective.
She started out using pre-designed patterns from books, and her work became more complex and intricate as time passed. She has a particular affinity for the old patterns from the 20’s and 30’s because of their delicacy and flowing qualities. She became known for that old style after years of making pieces in that genre and she still loves working with those.  But over the years she has developed her own style and designs. She found that many people wanted to have glass art that reflected nature through flowers, animals, trees, mountains and water, so she began to develop her own creations with those themes. She added a fanciful side to that style when she began developing designs of mermaids and fairies. And she found a large group of clients that wanted more contemporary pieces, so she developed that style as well. Many of her pieces are one of a kind and developed specifically for the clients involved.
When asked if she has a favorite piece, she said that one of her original mermaid windows might hold that distinction. It is a large half oval shape and very colorful, with lots of the deep blue colors of water. She also made a set of contemporary glass doors with accompanying panels on each side that she loved doing.
She had a booth at the Roanoke City Market for years where she not only sold the pieces that she had already made, but she also developed a large clientele for commissioned work. She has her glass in numerous doors and windows of homes all over the area. She has done shows on college and university campuses that resulted in commissions as well. Radford College contracted her to restore some old stained glass windows at Preston Hall that had been damaged. When she completed the restoration, they were framed, staged with back lighting, and hung in the executive boardroom there.
As her reputation has grown, the commissions have kept her busy. Word of mouth has been one of her best avenues for work. And she has done commissions for people who have hired her husband to build their homes. Despite the remote location of the studio, a number of people come and go for the lake access and also from the boy scout camps in the area, so that keeps a steady flow of people coming through her doors.
Cindy also enjoys teaching other people how to work with glass, so she conducts classes in the work area of the studio. She has various classes based on skill level starting with beginner, then intermediate, and finally advanced. The classes are conducted one night a week for six weeks. Each class lasts about an hour and a half. She has people sign up, and then schedules the class when she has the right number of students for that level. The beginner student works on a panel of glass, the intermediate builds a panel style lamp, and the advanced student constructs a tiffany lamp. The work is detailed and meticulous and ranges from cutting and grinding the glass to foiling and soldering and polishing it. Cindy says that everyone finds at least some part of the process that they enjoy, and everyone finishes with a piece of stained glass that they have made and get to take home.
Besides her own work in the studio, she also keeps a full range of supplies for stained glass artists. She has the necessary tools, many pieces of glass, books on pattern design and layout templates, various sizes of molds for the lamps, and whatever else might be needed. She says that in terms of stained glass supplies, if she doesn’t have what is wanted, she can order it.
She also has some pottery by Jayn Avery from Blue Heron Pottery in Floyd, and some jewelry made by another Floyd artist. The studio is located at 3408 Lead Mine Road not far from the Lighthouse Bridge and the phone number is 540-980-5481. She can also be reached at schaeffer_c@msn.com. The shop is open all year on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm
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