1156 Oak Street
When Ben Gault purchased the cottage at 1156 Oak Street in 1971, the gorgeous willow tree that now graces the front of the property was a volunteer sapling. But it wasn’t until 1979, when wife Leslie joined the household, that the garden began to take shape. She took Master Gardener training in 1981 and that’s when things really took off. Landscape Designer John Stadelman advised in the earliest stage of the garden’s development. Gardening the property is a labor of love for Leslie, and she spends a lot of time working on it.
The Gaults use only organic products. Ben mows the grass, and waters — very deeply — only once a week. Leslie does almost all of the rest of the work, with occasional help from Ricardo Sabino. The property, of slightly more than an acre, stretches to Bear Creek. There is a barn, small pool, and tiny lily pond in back. Much of the back is open field.
Right now, asters and rudbeckia dominate the landscape. In the Spring, it was daffodils. Leslie has planted 82 roses throughout the property over the years, including Cecile Bruner and Sally Holmes — two among many favorites. Other than the willow, the largest trees are a wonderful spreading fruitless mulberry, and a couple of firs. Leslie more recently added a white Kousa dogwood to the center of the rose circle. In addition to rose circle she has named other planting areas throughout the yard, including fence border and long border.
St. Johns Wort lines the street side of the property. A fabulous stand of purple poppies is just past the bloom stage near the house. Other plants in abundance include gaura, buddleja, clematis, daylilies, iris, verbena, daisies, and forsythia.
With seating and shade, there are several places to relax and enjoy the garden. The Adirondack chairs remind Leslie of her youth on the East coast. The overall ambience is of a slower, quieter time.
Submitted by: Ruth Sloan