Written by Josie Green
9526 Lodge Pole
Show stopping, eye catching, dramatic, spectacular, the display of deep pink azaleas borders the curved sidewalk leading to the entrance of Rosie’s house. The hedge, already established when she moved in 41 years ago, has become dense. She has trimmed it to contain its size and shape and tended it, feeding it acid-loving food each year after the blooms faded.
She calls her method of gardening “trial and error” but the effect is pleasing.
While the azaleas are the stars of the property, two majestic pin oaks, one in the front yard and one in the back, are the anchors. Around the base of the front yard oak is a tapestry of shade-loving plants: periwinkle, pigs’ squeak, hostas, tulips, caladium. The high shade of the oak in the backyard provides shelter for more hostas, ferns and Solomon’s seal.
Rosie’s interest in gardening bloomed in the 1950s. This garden, however, is modern. Her perimeter plantings and groves of dogwood trees as well as weigela, hydrangea and lilac can be viewed from her family room.
There are surprises in the garden, ceramic frogs tucked under plants, creatures peeking out from behind trees, stepping stones, trellises. Perennials are the prominent plants, many of which have been shared with friends.
Her inspiration came from lunchtime walks when she worked in Clayton as a teacher and vacation tours of Southern homes and plantations. Her garden does have a Southern flair. The visitor has a feeling of relaxation, ready to sit and sip a glass of iced tea.