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A LANDSCAPE FOR LIVING AND LINGERING

--- Anne K Moore March 20, 2009 ---
Photos by Anne K Moore ---

Boulders, flagstone, exotic dark wood decks, palm trees, and flowers come together in this award-winning garden. 

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Fiesta colors of orange, red, and yellow greet visitors arriving at the front door of this South Carolina home.  The yellow and red blooms of lantana ‘Miss Huff' blend with red begonias, orange and yellow marigolds, and yellow straw flowers.  Blue agapanthus, fuchsia pink million bells petunias, yellow and apricot daylilies, and a thread leaf coreopsis in an unusual deep wine-red color add contrasts. 

Bird song accompanies guests strolling to the lakeside patio and decks in the private areas.  Here, cooler colors and foliage enhance the appeal of the garden spaces, beckoning visitors to come and linger.  Foliage is artfully combined.  The foliage of sago palm, daylily, and iris complements the gardener' favorite fountains of ornamental grass. 

Extensive outdoor living spaces have been added.  A large multi-level deck begins high up on the second floor.  The staircase twists and turns, gradually dropping down to a screened room with another outside seating area, and then on down to a new flagstone patio.  The different levels make it feel beachy.  The lake views are serene and comforting.

Holly ferns (Cyrtomium falcatum 'Rochefordianum', USDA Zones 7b-11), tough and attractive, are put to perfect use under the open stairway and deck areas.  More northern gardeners could use the evergreen Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides USDA Zones 3-9). 

Trouble free choices for the shady areas leading into the garden include hostas and the small East Indian holly ferns (Arachnoides simplicior USDA Zones 7-10) with their notched and striped foliage.  The big leaved tropical looking fatsia (Fatsia japonica USDA Zones 8-11) is under-planted near the walkways with fragrant dwarf gardenias.

The Japanese garden concept of burying up to 2/3 of the rocks'surface was used in placing boulders throughout the garden.  This technique gives a sense of permanence.  The boulders look as though they have been there for years. 

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The boulders are placed strategically in the bends, corners, and changes in grade in the stone wall.  These outcroppings break up the straight line; adding interest to what could have been a monotonous straight section.  Sedums, creeping phlox, and creeping fig spill over the rounded tops of stone or rest in the crevices. 

The retaining walls were built to look like stacked stone but they actually have mortar holding the stones together.  This technique, using a backing of cement block for strength, allows no mortar to show.     

Flagstones from Virginia in gentle earth tones of crŹme, beige, and brown floor the large patio.  Shadows and light play off the soft colors, complementing the house and deck. 

Sago palms are very temperamental in the interior South Carolina climate.  They came through their first year with a little cover when frost threatened.  The second year they suffered a setback.  All of the fronds on two of them turned a muddy brown.  After lifting them up, they discovered white roots, which mean a live root ball.  They cut off all the dead fronds, replanted, and waited.  Procrastination can be a virtue when it comes to pulling out seemingly dead plants.  They all recovered.

The lavender blue flowers of Russian sage, silver foliage of pinks, verbena ‘Homestead Purple' and a grape colored daylily blend their colors throughout the borders.  Near the lake, a red Japanese maple is under-planted with burgundy grass. 

Landscaping a large property while preserving views of the lake can be a daunting task.  This award winning landscape beckons family and friends outdoors to enjoy the views, the wildlife, the scents, and the lake. 

 


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