Driving past 128 Wimer Street I often admired the beautifully landscaped front garden and the lovely home rising up from the street, but my eyes were always drawn to what lay just beyond the home. A tall deer fence marked the back garden and what appeared to be two “sheep” standing among the roses. I just knew there had to be something special behind that gate.
I met with Cindy Barnard, the owner, and was able to get a closer look at her garden and meet the not-so-real sheep that guard it. What I do know, is that there are no words to adequately describe the beauty of the landscaping or any pictures that can capture what you’ll find there. What I can tell you is that the yard holds two majestic trees – a Coastal Redwood (planted approximately 1906), a Douglas Fir and a stately oak – that have been there for many years. The Conrad and Lavina Mingus home, built in the late 1880’s, and at the time nestled in the middle of a small fruit and nut orchard, was originally designed to accommodate the harvesting.
Cindy bought the home in 2006 and in 2007 began planning an extensive remodel. Joanne Krippaehne (Madrone Architecture, Ashland) was the architect chosen to redesign the home and Kerry Kencairn, the landscape architect, who, with the involvement of Cindy’s son, Seth Barnard of Solid Ground Landscaping, turned this property into the inviting garden it is today. After several planning workshops and sessions, the concept simplified into: “bring the outdoors in and the indoors out.” But, even as the project grew more complex than originally anticipated, it is now easy to believe that Cindy wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
The garden, originally on the Spring 2009 AAUW garden tour, contains a variety of trees and plants – old fashioned quince, a new Asian persimmon and two fig trees, hydrangeas, peonies, berry bushes, roses, hostas and so many others, too numerous to mention. After recently spending winter days at Hidcote garden and Yew Garden in England, Cindy found joy in the winter color included in those beds and, after lawn removal, added a beautyberry bush (genus Callicarpa) to her back garden. A thriving hand-watered vegetable garden and three compost piles take up a sunny location in the back of the property.
Submitted by: Kaaren Anderson