Refashioned, Formal, and French
The Frankstone’s initial simplified English garden, planted in 1994, did not thrive. Reconsidering those early choices and bowing to our fickle climate and too much sun, these gardeners set about creating an homage to fond travel memories and a childhood time in France. Normandy’s Les Jardins Agapanthe inspired the relaxed-formal reincarnation of the main garden.
Climb the walkway to the home’s formal entrance. Note the landscape’s composition, the pleasing variety, shapes, and colors of trees and shrubs. Rounded front steps and shrubs flank the front door and face a woodland arranged with a stone bench, shapely evergreens, viburnum, tea olives, dry creek, and iris. The narrow side yard conceals a compact work area and children’s play space, leaving the serenity and harmony of the main garden uninterrupted.
Enter the main garden. Before you are the symmetry and rhyme of a modernized parterre garden. Its tidy squares repeat annuals, dianthus, rosemary, iris, and allium, outlined by stone and pea gravel walkways. Elegant black tuteurs command attention, ready to train flowering vines. A key feature, the L-shaped boxwood border along two sides, partially frames the parterres. Giant Allium ambassadors float and nod their ballooned heads over all. Comfortable seating areas beckon, creating a tranquil and inviting garden in limited space. An aged, gnarled Loropetalum bids you “Au revoir!” as you exit to the driveway.
Sebastian Hamilton, Unique Plant; Diane Birkemo, Design for All Seasons; and Patrick Barkley, Elysian Fields Outdoor Services have added professional assistance.
Terrain: Moderate to easy, long walk to access
Photographs courtesy Daphne McLeod and Kathleen Swendiman, unless otherwise noted.