In Bellbrook, couple’s backyard heart of festivities

It’s been site for wedding, Halloween fun, going-away parties.

Whenever the mosquitos and weather cooperate, Beth, 67, and George, 71, Kloos of Bellbrook are likely planning their next festivity with their beloved backyard at the heart of it all.

Married in 1984, the Klooses built their home in 1987 on a wooded, grassy lot that now abuts the Sugarcreek MetroPark horse trail. Arbors, illuminated in the evenings on either side of the house, warmly invite guests from the front driveway area into the backyard space that’s been the backdrop for a wedding, haunted Halloween fun, going-away parties and more.

“She’s the hostess,” George said. “She loves parties, she’s a great host.”

Guided by Beth’s vision about 10 years ago to more easily access the back’s green space, George installed curved stairs that lead down the gradual slope of the lawn toward the tree line beyond. Beth said once these were in place, it opened the yard to possibilities.

“His hard work and my ideas are kind of what got this all together,” Beth said.

Following the cascade of colorful garden boxes that trail the stairs, a canopy gazebo rests on a stone patio island. In 2021, the Klooses’ son was married at this spot with 100 guests looking on from their seats in the grass. The wedding dinner happened toward the front of the house; the dance floor was glistening with lights strung above in the backyard’s large trees — everything went off without a hitch, Beth said.

“My backyard represents the blessings that God has given us,” Beth said. “As we’ve gone through our lives, it started out very plain, you know, and I just feel like as he has filled my life with so many blessings, I feel like our garden has grown.”

Venturing further back into the forest, each Halloween season, Beth and George transform a short foot-trail they blazed into a spooky trail laid with straw and hay. Skeletons and other ghostly decorations rest on benches and against tree stumps with candy buckets in their boney hands for the Kloos grandchildren to delight in. It’s become a tradition the couple looks forward to every year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Klooses even hosted a small group of friends to their backyard to watch virtual church on a television screen.

As long as the Klooses are able to maintain outdoor space without difficulty, they said it’s a place for which parting ways is hard to imagine. More than a lawn that’s been developed over the decades, it’s Beth’s creative outlet for her love of hosting.

“I’m so thankful that God gave us this and has allowed us to put this together,” Beth said. “It’s given us a lot of joy.”

About the Author