There is a spectacular garden at 777 Jacquelyn Street where Claire Marie has her home and runs a Waldorf preschool aptly called The Children’s Garden. Inspired by Tasha Tudor who was the creator of magical gardens as well as children’s books, Claire aimed to achieve a woodland paradise and fairy habitat, and has made huge strides toward that end on her ¾ acre property that edges Clay Creek, since she moved to Jacquelyn Street 15 years ago.
Claire had help from landscape designer Ian Wessler, who drew up plans for the hardscape from Claire’s ideas. She also credits Carol McBride and Micheline Wessler for their help, and Victoria Eckart (of Bi-Mart’s plant department) for advice on plant selection and help with planting. With assistance from many willing hands, Claire planted 4,500 bulbs in 2012.
The front yard is anchored by a large maple tree; redbud trees; a gorgeous Japanese maple; a prolific cherry tree that many people enjoy, including her graduates who return at cherry-picking time for the bounty; mock orange; fringe plant; and foundation plantings of otto luychen laurel. There is a low privet hedge behind the white picket fence and a Cécile Brüner rose on an arbor near the garage. There are peonies, rhododendrons, daffodils, narcissus, and Mariposa tulips that deer don’t eat!
The back yard is anchored by many large trees, including ash, aspen, and spruce, plus six varieties of apple trees, and blueberries. There are helleborus, oriental poppies, bleeding heart, columbine, roses, ferns, snowdrop, lily-of-the-valley, forget-me-not, lilac, dogwood, anemone, clematis, photinia, and allium—just to name a few.
There are far too many different plants to even begin to list them all. Among the more unusual are fritillaria meleagris, epimedium, erythronium, eranthis hyemalis, camasia quamash, ornithogalum, and calochortus.
In addition to the lush plantings, there are charming arbors (one covered with wisteria), gates, playhouses, a sandbox, a large deck, and a tree house for the enjoyment of her students and other visitors to the garden. There are sculptures of angels, mushrooms, St. Francis, Buddha, and other charming features throughout the landscape.
by Ruth Sloan