Just Gardens Tour slated May 17 & 18
, 2014

Just Gardens Tour
slated May 17 & 18

Just Gardens will tour five properties May 17 and 18 to benefit The Haven Shelter and Services. The tour will focus on the Merry Point, Yankee Point and Millenbeck areas of Lancaster County.

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Tickets are now available for the Just Gardens tour coming May 17 & 18.

Terry and Bob Hood’s Northern Neck home, Watercolors, on the Eastern Branch of the Corrotoman River at 72 Mariner Drive is, in Terry’s words, “the most peaceful place I have ever lived.”

They bought the property in 2004, lured from Nantucket by the prospect of living in a home where they could have a boat in the backyard year round, reported publicity coordinator CJ Carter. The 30-year-old house underwent extensive renovations, while the garden had enjoyed 30 years of growth that had developed into a well-thought-out collection of trees and shrubs chosen originally to frame the house.

A huge oak tree on the hillside leading to the water had succumbed to disease and was removed, continued Carter. Following a tropical storm threatening the stability of the slope, Terry and Bob decided to grade back, and install a French drain system to create an area that was sustainable and stable.

This area was then planted with an assortment of small trees, perennials, grasses, roses, groundcovers and shrubs, said Carter. The result is a riot of shapes, colors and textures and most importantly, a collection of stabalizing roots to prevent future erosion.

Next door, Laurel Cove is nestled into a cul de sac high on a hill overlooking Hills Creek at 215 Mariner Drive. The property was purchased in 1999 by the current owner.

When the Hoffmans moved in, there were overgrown foundation plants and rows of cypress planted for screening, said Carter. Working with a landscape designer and nursery in Fredericksburg, they developed a plan to remove much of the old overgrowth and introduce elements that reflected their interests.

A waterfall and stream were added to the courtyard area, continued Carter. Native plants were introduced to fill in gaps left by previous storms, and truckloads of soil and landscape rocks were imported.

“When we first moved in there were large trees and overgrown shrubs in our driveway circle that completely obscurred any view of the house,” said Aleta Hoffman. “They had to go.”

In their place a pond was installed and planted with flowering perennials that thrive near the water source.

“It’s definitely a favorite spot for me,” said Aleta. “The water has such a soothing sound.”

Crepe myrtles and Barberries in addition to native wax myrtles have made the “screening job” more interesting by adding color, and shape variation. They form the backdrop to a perennial border filled with peonies, iris, trillium, Virginia bells and daylilies, said Carter.

The color focus is burgandy and light shades of green “to enhance the gray house,” Aleta says. Bloodgood maples, Japanese bloodgrass, red twig dogwoods and gold mop cypress all fill the bill. Gingko biloba trees and a Buckeye tree round out the color card.

She credits James Kelly with gardening help. “He’s the guy to go to if you live in the Merry Point area,” says Aleta.

Other tour sites include The Jordan Garden on Yankee Point Road, The Jacobsen Garden on Yankee Point Road and The Tutt Garden on Town Creek Lane. Tour hours are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 on tour days. Advance tickets may be purchased at The Dandelion in Irvington, The Pedestal in Kilmarnock, The Box Boutique in White Stone, Wildest Dreams in Burgess or Shoppe for Haven’s Sake in Warsaw.

Tickets also may be purchased by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope and check payable to The Haven to Just Gardens, P.O. Box 429, Irvington, VA 22480; or call 333-1099 ext. 12.

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