A Walk in the Garden
Summer may be over, but one Huntleigh resident is going to soak up every bit of outdoor time he still can. For him, this time of year means tending to and enjoying his garden, a stunning space of stone paths, native plants, mature trees and gorgeous blooms that he has crafted for four decades. The landscape is as unique as the home it surrounds. Here, he gives T&S a peek inside—and out!
How long have you been in the house?
Around 40 years. It was built in 1954, and we completely remodeled it.
Tell me about some of the renovations.
It’s been an ongoing project. We started in 1976, and five years ago, we added the hearth room and redid the kitchen. I’m a commercial real estate developer, and I’ve always had an eye for architecture. I appreciate good craftsmanship.
Did you have a vision for the interior?
I think the inside is very eclectic. The rooms are on several different levels, and every ceiling is vaulted or coffered in its own unique way. Many different materials also were used to give each room a unique feel.
The gardens are spectacular.
I’ve always had a passion for gardening. When I was a kid, I used to take care of my family’s yard in south St. Louis. I don’t play golf or tennis; gardening is my hobby. I was inspired by my travels and the world-famous gardens in Canada and England. I’ve been developing and building up the landscaping since we moved into the house. It all was created in collaboration with Sherwood’s Forest Nursery designer Bill Minford.
Do you have a favorite feature of the garden?
The ponds and fountains. I also like that the design features several native plant varieties.
T&S also chatted with Bill Minford of Sherwood’s Forest Nursery about the home’s landscaping.
How long have you been working on the home?
Probably around 25 years.
What was the garden like when you started?
We started pretty much from scratch. There were a number of mature trees, but other than that, we had a blank slate. We’ve made some pretty extensive changes, including creating what the homeowner calls ‘islands.’ They’re big, bermed planting beds. This is a very hands-on project for the homeowner. He takes a lot of pride in his landscaping. In the summer, he doesn’t travel. He has weekend gatherings where he invites people over to enjoy the garden. I’ve been very fortunate to work with him. He’s the driving force behind the design, and I just try to mold his ideas into reality.
The homeowner mentioned he was inspired by gardens around the world.
He comes to me with ideas he wants to include based on what he’s seen. Recently, we created what he likes to call his piazza. We put in flagstone walks through the lawn between the berms and connected them to a courtyard around an existing three-tiered fountain.
Tell me about the plants used.
I like to bring in lots of color, especially in the summer when the garden has visitors. We use a number of different perennials, and there are quite a few varieties of hydrangeas. The yard is home to rabbits, so we’re also working within the confines of plants that they won’t eat or destroy.
Do you have a favorite part of the landscaping?
I like a lot of different features. The piazza is one of my favorites, and there is a berm on the south end that turned out really well with a good deal of color. We’ve also used some huge, native boulders to surround walkways. I like accent points like that combined with perennial color. It’s an enjoyable space, and it’s fun just to walk around. There’s nothing like admiring the garden, enjoying nature and taking in the day.
Photos: Suzy Gorman