I have always wondered how it would feel to leave a beautiful garden behind. When we moved into our current home in 1988, we moved from a very small house and tiny garden, and even that hurt a little. I can’t imagine moving now, leaving behind majestic trees planted from seedlings, prized plants and all the garden memories.
When the Bell’s moved from their two-acre property, these daylily and hosta collectors must have worried what would become of their manicured sunny borders and shady woodland.
They had nothing to worry about. Barb Richards and her husband, Jeff, have lovingly cared for the property while making the landscape their own. Some of the daylilies have been replaced with roses, some of the hostas exchanged with wildflowers, favorite perennials have found spaces among existing plants, and a few vegetable plants are grown in perennial borders.
Garden statues and ornaments in Barb’s style are artistically placed throughout the property.
Shade in the woodland is cast by mature oaks and understory trees. Evergreens frame the perimeter. The garden hosts a variety of shade-loving perennials. Hostas, ferns, astilbes, Jack in the pulpit, Solomon’s seal and hydrangeas are the main players.
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ grows beside a moss-covered stump.
A flagstone path does double duty as a conduit for water when heavy rains fall.
The woodland garden in the back of the house winds around the side where a statue stands guard over the plants in this section.
The flowers of Cimicifuga racemosa ‘Atropurpurea’ release the most delicious fragrance of vanilla.
On the sunny side of the yard, ornamental grasses and Joe-pye weed tower over phlox, black-eyed Susans, daylilies, sedum, and allium.
A pathway through the garden lets visitors experience the flowers up close and personal.
Travel through an arbor and get a view of the ‘back forty’. The bed surrounding the birdhouse was bursting with the color of daylilies in July. Now coneflowers and hydrangeas provide late summer color.
A bench and fire pit beckon visitors to relax for a few moments.
Barb loves gardening and plants as much as I do. She can always find a place for something new like her latest addition, Allium ‘Millenium’.
I asked Barb how she manages to care for gardens this large. “We cut back as much as we can in the fall so there is less to do in the spring,” she explained, “and we just don’t worry about deadheading many of the perennials.”
They keep weeds down by applying Preen. They even put it on the paths before they are covered with mulch.
It is difficult to show all the beauty of Barb’s landscape, but these are some of my favorite scenes.
Whether your garden is large or small, or if you create a garden from infancy or take an existing garden and make it your own, your garden is your mark on the earth. Get out there and garden with me!