WRITTEN BY Blair Farris
Patience, planning, perseverance
Spring has sprung and we all want to dash to the garden center to see what’s blooming and what we can add to our gardens. But don’t be hasty to purchase. Your garden will benefit from advance planning and spring is the perfect time to take inventory to determine what’s working and what’s not. In addition, it’s the time to plan for hardscaping projects and structural elements. These projects can be executed over the summer so you will be ready for planting in the fall.
You have the option of doing it yourself or hiring a professional garden designer or landscape architect. If you chose a professional, finding one needn’t be daunting. The best way to find a pro is by word of mouth. Regardless of your choice, be patient as you start the planning process. Make a list of what you need and what you want in your garden. When you see a garden you love, stop and ask who designed it. Then consider: What do I want in the overall structure and feel of the garden? What type of garden fits my style? What type of plants fit my needs? What plants am I drawn to? Be sure to address the surrounding elements: Do I need a space for entertaining? Do I want privacy or an area where the kids can play? How much maintenance am I willing to take on?
To see the importance of planning, we have pulled together a variety of before and after photographs that depict transformative qualities.
See the full post to read this fabulous garden article!
A secret garden in full bloom
Every now and then there is a collision of passion and perseverance that results in something extraordinary, and in Sally Cooper’s case, it’s a lovely garden. And Sally, a gardener for more than 40 years, has been quite patient in building it. She turned acres of land into a remarkable garden filled with trees, flowers, hedges, paths and birdbaths, to name only a few of her treasures.
As newlyweds, the Coopers moved onto a parcel of her family’s land located in the heart of Eastover. Over the years, they have acquired more of their family’s surrounding land and now the home and garden covers more than six acres. Sally spent the first few years cleaning and mulching to prepare for more beautiful and robust gardens. She worked with designers on small projects, but for the most part, it has been her labor of love—to carefully and expertly design garden spaces.
We spent a Sunday afternoon exploring her garden. When asked what her favorite flower is, she remarked, “Whatever is in bloom at the time.” There are, indeed, plants that are continously in bloom. The helleborus orientalis are en masse and the daffodils and scilla were starting to peek out. There are peonies, phlox, bloodroot, iris, astilbe and alpine columbine. Sally has cultivated
hardwood trees and ornamental trees such as flowering peach, flowering almond, yoshino cherries, crape myrtles and styrex. She is extremely proud of the Davey Poplars from Chapel Hill that were given to her as seedlings when she was on the board of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens. The thousands of bulbs are from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester, Va. Other treasures include her favorite statue from Italy and heirloom plants that fellow gardeners have given her.
As for wildlife, it truly is a bird sanctuary. She enjoys the many birds that nest in the garden. She especially adores the Savannah
Holly hedge for the berries that it produces to help feed them. Sally says: “The cedar waxwings are such polite little birds.” She also has installed birdbaths and fountains.
It’s not only a sanctuary for birds: Sally’s garden can soothe us all. Visitors wander along the paths to enjoy the quiet and solitude or to set up picnics. Children often skip on the trails. Sally once spotted little girls performing ballet in the roses. Sally then told this story: She was walking in the garden and she heard bicycles crash on the street and then she saw children running through her garden. The boy asked his friend: “Are you sure it’s all right?” And the little girl answered: “Yes, it’s my secret garden.”