Garden 5 Preview: Owner, Sue    


The garden has been 19 years in the making—that’s how long ago Sue bought the old farm house on a corner lot with minimal planting in the front. Through hard work and a rich imagination fed by ideas and pictures collected in 22 notebooks, Sue has almost single-handedly created the unique, lush, crowded landscape under a thick canopy of trees.


Sue’s daughter participated in the first project of designing a path that lead to a grape arbor and Sue’s son laid bricks that became a patio. The eight towering firs—estimated to be over 75 years old—and the massive magnolia tree are the remnants of previous owners. Sue has a love/hate relationship with her firs and magnolia. Sue finds the constant clean up of debris and leaves tedious! However, she relishes the shade and ambience they bring to her garden. With the addition of countless varieties of ferns, hostas, lilies and shade tolerant plants, it is easy to imagine being in the middle of an isolated woodland.


Each year Sue tackles a new project. This process has led to numerous distinct areas or “rooms” encountered when roaming the garden. There’s a large fountain surrounded by roses and places to sit and a mosaic birdbath created by Sue. Scented geraniums and calla lilies abound.  Sue does claim that the days of her hauling gravel to create pathways from one area to another are behind her….but she might show you those pictures of that gazebo and that garden shed that look so appealing and just may have to be built in the future!


 A collector of antiques, Sue uses the house’s walls and fences to hang old plates, mirrors, and other treasures. The garden uniquely incorporates some of the other items acquired during the years—pottery, cobalt blue objects, cookware, etc.  If it can hold a little dirt, Sue will plant something in it or by it or incorporate it in another garden sculpture or feature. 


The challenge presented by this garden is to attempt to see and comprehend all it offers. You’ll fall under the spell of a carefree, Bohemian vibe.