April 2018 No-Mow Garden Tour
Dawn Szelc, LDG Secretary, Clear Blue Landscapes
On April 21 the LDG met in Arlington for the No Mow Garden tour. As part of the meeting Julie Hawley, LDG President, explained the boxes of landscape design and horticulture books along the sidewalk had been donated by the family of a former member who passed in 2007. Sigrid Thomas book collection was being made available to anyone who wanted any of the books. She had been a Ukrainian immigrant and had apparently also wrote the book “Goodbye Stalin” as she was forced to flee three times in her life. We thoroughly enjoyed browsing her many interesting books and taking a few home.
The first house is owned by Sarah Strickler, LDG member, and she worked on the design with help from Jane Collins. The front yard is all garden and a circle motif was used with one side of the front walk a circular dry well covered in pea gravel. The downspouts of the house feed into it and the underdrain goes out to the side of the street. The other side of the front walk is a small circular area planted with mondo grass with stepping stones within, and both are surrounded by plants and shrubs. There are ferns, Solomon’s Seal, and a wide selection of plants. A third circle of mixed hardscape elements brings the front path up to the steps to the front door. The hardscape was executed by Rob Page of Page Stonework.
The path from the front of the house to the backyard included another wide array of plants and garden art features. Sarah and her husband purchased the home and besides updating the landscape also added an addition to the house. This required some significant intervention for a large tree that was near the construction area. The tree continues to be managed by an arborist. A patio was added along with a wall at the back of the property. There is a meadow garden just behind the patio that was in a very early stage when we saw it due to the extended winter weather we had this spring. At the back of the property a low wall with an added fence was constructed as well as a small sitting area in the upper corner which looks out to the garden and patio below.
The second property was the Commea residence which had a front yard no-mow garden designed by Julie Hawley. Julie explained that the family hosted many students at their house and needed additional parking than what was available. They also had drainage issues that needed attention. Julie worked with the current circular driveway by pushing the front yard area back with a retaining wall which then cleared space for parking spots. Julie likes to use inspiration from an artist that the client favors. In this case it was Monet with a yellow and purple pallet and red accents. The garden area was then planted with Ilex glabra, Winterberry, Rhus aromatica “Low Grow”, Penstemon, and Tradescanthia. In an area closer to the house she moved roses and Crape myrtle and added Serviceberry and Hay scented fern while repeating some of the other perennials. Many of her perennial selections were obtained as plugs from North Creek Nurseries
Due to the drainage issues the front steps were altered - you may notice that the last riser is covered in the above photo- and the front walk was resurfaced.
Thanks to Julie and Sarah for some inspirational no-mow front yard ideas!
LDG is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the exchange and enhancement of knowledge relevant to the landscape design profession. We are a group of professional designers in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Membership is meant for students studying and professionals employed in landscape design or associated professions (i.e. arborists, installers, contractors, etc.).
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