Timing is everything. For years before it became reality, Dayle Wedeking had visions of a colorful and lush garden surrounding her suburban Tudor home. At one point she engaged a garden designer to draw up a set of plans, but that project never got off the ground…life interfered. In 2013 a friend suggested she contact Lucy Hardiman of Perennial Partners to begin the process anew. Situated on a corner lot in a wooded, hillside neighborhood, the house loomed large over the front lawn and street, interrupted by a boxwood lined concrete pathway from the front door to the sidewalk. Traditional, narrow foundation beds skirted the front of the house exacerbating issues of scale and proportion.
During the rainy season runoff from properties up the hill collected on both front and back lawns creating boggy conditions and anaerobic soil. Dayle requested that Lucy and her associate, Teresa Dennis, deal with a laundry list of site issues in the planning process; solving drainage issues, creating a network of walkways and pathways circumnavigating the house, reducing the amount of lawn and creating ample space for three dimensional plantings.
The original front walkway is now surrounded by curvilinear beds that break up the vast lawn. A new path links the front garden to the driveway and the curved gate leading to the borders in the back. Two Cornus x kousa ‘Venus’ flank the walkway underplanted with Lonicera ‘Twiggy’ a low evergreen shrub whose chameleon-like foliage shifts color from lime to green and purple over the seasons. Rosa ‘Double Knockout Pink’ flowers all summer providing a foil for the purple foliage of Weigela ‘Spilled Wine’. Although marauding deer are drawn to the rose ‘salad bar’ Dayle’s regimen of regular applications of repellent keeps them at bay. Dwarf conifers, hydrangeas and ornamental grasses add visual interest and color.
Floating island beds separated by wide grass and gravel paths invite all who enter the rear garden to meander through lush mixed borders showcasing an exciting array of plants. An existing arborvitae hedge encloses the space providing a serene green background for a panoply of perennials, shrubs, small trees and ornamental grasses. Red and orange twig dogwoods and a witch hazel light up the garden in winter while hydrangeas, hardy fuchsias, phlox, salvias and hardy geraniums cavort with grasses from late spring through fall.
As her interest in plants bloomed Dayle joined her best friend as a volunteer for the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection. Her education as a gardener continued apace as she began collecting clematis species and cultivars. The vertical silhouettes of tuteurs, obelisks and trellises laden with the ‘queen of the vines’ interject sculptural and structural elements in beds and borders.
A variety of bird species flock to a feeding station along the back hedge visible from the kitchen and family room windows. A water feature designed and built in 2015 enhances the bird habitat as do neighboring trees and shrubs that offer places to perch and hide. When Dayle is too tired to garden she relaxes watches her feathered friends.
Lucy Hardiman – Perennial Partners
Lucy Hardiman is immersed in all things horticultural from her passion for garden design, lecturing and activism in the regional gardening community to her role as principal and owner of Perennial Partners, a collaborative garden design group rooted in an obsession for ecological planting, innovative hardscape design and sustainable solutions.
Teresa Dennis – Perennial Partners
Teresa Dennis, born overseas and widely traveled, brings broad strokes to her designs. She enthusiastically helps clients create their own outdoor oasis, whether in large country settings or small urban spaces.
With a background in the retail nursery business, she uses her vast botanical knowledge when creating planting plans.