Historic Streetscape, Private Garden
The iron-gated front rose garden waves to passersby and the UNC Tar Heel flag waves on the front porch above Franklin Street. Behind the very public facade of this historic home near downtown Chapel Hill, you will find a more secluded family garden. Carolina Coffee Shop owners George and Sophie Livas built this stately brick home in 1938. The stone walls were constructed using rocks from the basement excavation during a recent renovation, and reference the ubiquitous low-stone walls throughout campus.
A massive, pending magnolia near the driveway gate is older than the house, and shelters an inviting teak bench. Newly redesigned, stone-edged beds welcome you through the wide gate to the family entrance, outdoor dining patio, and screened porch, which generously yet efficiently connect the home to the detached garage. Near the sturdy stone grill, nature provides a flat stone “table,“ while a black iron garden swing beckons.
Stone pathways within the property lead you to distinct garden areas. The high contrasting colors and textures of Creeping Jenny and Painted ferns add vibrancy to a shady side garden that manages stormwater beautifully. Stained Glass hosta, Black Mondo grass, Autumn fern and Sweetflag grass flourish here. Bluestone patios overlook both the charming flowerbeds in the back garden and the front rose garden, offering delightful venues for entertaining and relaxing.
The Guskiewiczs’s loving stewardship of this historic home and gardens was achieved with assistance from Green Grass and More, Witherspoon Rose Culture, Jane Nordwall, Amy Strunk Designs, and Southern States.
Terrain: Easy, with some slopes
Photographs courtesy Daphne McLeod and Kathleen Swendiman, unless otherwise noted.