A FrontYardGarden Creation

I call it an “IslandGarden.” It is a most intense planting at the end of a cul-de-sac. The planting is bordered by the road on the front side, circled by curved steps and a driveway, and terraced with the best application of manufactured rock I have ever seen. I have watched this garden grow since it was planted about twelve years ago, enjoying the subtle changes made by the owners, Jos and Mary de Wit of Kingsport, Tennessee.

The garden starts in a cul-de-sac on the uphill side

The garden starts in a cul-de-sac on the uphill side

The landscape design was difficult to start with as the lot has a steady downhill fall from the edge of the cul-de-sac to the lake behind the house. A set of curved steps suggests a waterfall leading from the road to the front door and the retaining wall bordering the island becomes a mountain side. The featured plant in the island is a beautiful Eastern Redbud which Jos has been carefully shaping for years.

A "river bed" of steps leads down through the garden to the drive way.

A “river bed” of steps leads down through the garden to the drive way.

The planting of the island is a combination of wild and formal. The planting is varied and undulating. From the drive one notices Japanese maples, dwarf Norway Spruce, iris, and several perennial plantings.

A careful planting of different textures and sizes suggests a river bank

A careful planting of different textures and sizes suggests a river bank

The de Wits obviously treat this island like a Japanese bonsai garden. Every planting has been meticulously trimmed and groomed.  The following picture is a detail of the front of the garden from the road side. I admired the alstromeria (the pretty blooms in the center) and Mary said, “We planted them last year and enjoyed them. We didn’t know they would come back again. What a pleasant surprise.” I like the way the garden uses dwarf dianthus for a ground cover.

The plants add interest and a peaceful feeling that makes one pause and reflect.

The plants add interest and a peaceful feeling that makes one pause and reflect.

Jos has a time consuming job and he insists on spending a portion of his free time fishing. Whatever time is left over is spent in the garden, grooming and cleaning. I enjoy talking with him about his efforts. He always tells me that he doesn’t have much time for the garden but it looks to me like he’s being a bit over modest.

Jos modestly explains how things happen to "just look good"--not mentioning his work and care

Jos modestly explains how things happen to “just look good”–not mentioning his work and care

Of course, if you keep up with my writings, you will know that one of the things I appreciate most is the view of the landscape from the house. I love it when there is an ever changing picture on the wall that comes from nature shining through a window. Here’s the view from the breakfast room of the de Wit house.

A rear window creates an ever-changing picture on the wall using nature for the subject.

A rear window creates an ever-changing picture on the wall using nature for the subject.

I walked out on the deck to get a shot of the back yard.

A view of Fort Patrick Henry Lake. I love the way this yard morphs from the miniscule to the Grande.

A view of Fort Patrick Henry Lake. I love the way this yard morphs from the miniscule to the Grande.

Before leaving, I watched Jos take pictures of Mary using the garden as a background. Mary is going to give me a hard time about the corner of the garbage can showing in the picture but I think it adds a touch of humor.

The garden makes a good back drop for picture making.

The garden makes a good back drop for picture making.

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Bob Hicks
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 15:56:17

    John I love it. When did you take the pictures? They have a lovely place.

    Reply

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