Genene included metal sculptures in a bed on the northwest side of the house. According to feng shui, metal placed in the northwest part of a garden is thought to bring balance and harmony in friendships.
"We put out fliers about feng shui and on grow boxes in case they have questions," said Frank.
Lush vegetable plants thrive in the tidy, raised grow boxes, which are irrigated by rain collected in a barrel. The barrel also supplies water for the rest of the gardens. The Gourleys grow more lettuce, spinach, chard, sugar snap peas, onions, tomatoes, peppers and herbs than they can eat in the grow boxes' rich soil.
A large, sturdy potting bench -- designed and built by Frank, of course -- provided a back-friendly spot for Genene to plant annuals in her containers. It recently doubled as a drink station when the Gourleys hosted one of the potluck dinners held monthly on the East End.
The guests dined in the backyard and on the back porch, as Frank and Genene do nearly every day. They enjoy their time in their gardens so much that they're pleased to share it with others.
"We hope people come and maybe get some inspiration. That's what we do. We always visit all the gardens and try to recruit other people to participate in the showcase," Genene said.
The East End Garden Showcase began 10 years ago as a contest, said Charleston East End Main Street Executive Director Ric Cavender.
"It's one of our oldest events. It's a great way to get people down into our district," he said.
Maps are available at Contemporary Galleries, Tricky Fish, Red Carpet Lounge and Zegeer Hardware, as well in tubes in front of each house on the tour. The showcase is sponsored by The Masters Law Firm LC.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.