We are smitten with anything English. Well, almost everything. Hence, we aspire to transform our 1930s-era Regency-style Carolinas home into a jewel box that looks like it was plucked from an estate in the heart of the bucolic Cotswolds.
By Jason Oliver Nixon
“People are nice, but plants are just so much more amenable. And, unlike children, they don’t have to go to college.”
– John Loecke
A Rose is a Rose is Not a Rose
This spring we are turning to our friends at exceptional Brit-based rose growers David Austin for stunning climbing roses to run up the front façade of our home, the House of Bedlam.
We have attached wire supports to the white brick in readiness for the thorn-free Zephirine Drouhin bare-root varietals that will soon spread their tendrils and deep pink flowers in preparation for the summer ahead. Gorgeous blooms. Easy maintenance. And the David Austin catalog and website truly make selecting the perfect rose for your garden a snap.
Falling for Follies
We have a wooded corner of our yard that needs some pizzazz: perhaps an architectural element where we can host al fresco dinners and lounge about on languid summer days with our four pound-rescue pups.
English-based cast stone manufacturers Haddonstone offer the perfect solution in the form of a glorious temple-like folly—aka, the Greek Revival Garden Folly—that delivers on exceptional beauty and that comes in at a terrific price point. We can’t wait to install this gloriette and really get the rig a rocking.
Haddonstone also crafts stunning rope-like garden edging that is unlike anything you will ever find at one of those banal big-box stores.
Wall Flowers Unite
Nothing gets us all hot and bothered more than a deliciously espaliered tree; you know, that glorious greenery that has been highly trained to run flat against a wall that you see in the gorgeous gardens of, say, France and England. Picture a pear tree shaped like a flat candelabra to add some visual interest along a bare wall. Or a horizontal cordon or a harlequin-shaped so-called Belgian fence.
We have the U-Haul rented and shall be making a road trip to see our talented horticultural pals at River Road Farms in Decatur, Tennessee, to stock up on espaliered stunners. That will be us tooling along Highway 75 south of Knoxville with glorious shrubs poking out here and there.
We are lucky enough to have a stream running through our property, but the banks have long been ignored and require some triage, not only to add beauty but also to prevent erosion.
Through some stealthy web investigations, we discovered the wonderful folks at Mellow Marsh Farm in Siler City, North Carolina, who specializes in plants and seeds native to the Southeast. We shall be purchasing seed mixes, including the Riparian Buffer Mix and Pollinator Mix, and will transform a rundown riverbank into a riparian retreat packed with flowers and visual interest.
illustrations by John Loecke