Garden of the Month: May 2018

186 Ohio Street –  It’s such a pleasant surprise to discover the beautiful garden at 186 Ohio Street.  Although the house is on a flag lot, much of the garden is visible from the street or sidewalk.  Stacy and Eric Poole own the property and have lived here with their two daughters Allie and Aimee, a dog, cat, and three chickens since 2001.  It’s easy to find the property because of two large basalt pillars installed near the sidewalk by their friend, the stone sculptor Jesse Biesanz.IMG_1

In fact, the Pooles have many talented friends who have added to the charming ambience of the property.  Metal sculptor Cheryl Garcia is a friend who helped Stacy with the original garden design and installation.  There are numerous Garcia sculptural pieces throughout.  Landscape designer and friend Jane Hardgrove has helped transform areas of the garden with her vision.IMG_2

Stacy averages two to five hours per week working in the garden but wishes she could spend more time.  Vidal Cervantes has been helping with weeding and cleanup.  Allie and Aimee enjoy spending time in the garden and help their mother realize changes.IMG_3

The garden has evolved as the children are growing up.  The current trampoline replaced a swing set, and is likely to be replaced before long with a fire pit and seating area.  Other areas of the landscape have been reworked in phases.IMG_4

Among Stacy’s favorite plants are the sunflowers of summer and Japanese maples.  There are raised beds for vegetables, including lettuces, tomatoes, and basil, and various kinds of berries abound.  Tiny (less than two inches high) cyclamen catch the eye in March.  Pleasant surprises are everywhere at all times of year.IMG_5

Article by Ruth Sloan
Photos by Larry Rosengren

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Garden of the Month: Sept. 2017

There is a gem of a garden at the Bloomsbury Coffee House, above the Bloomsbury Book Store at 290 E. Main St., or directly off Enders alley between First and Second streets. Bloomsbury’s hidden garden in downtown Ashland is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for September.01

The surprising tree-shaded terraced garden is designed, planted, and tended by the Coffee House’s owner David Light. The garden has evolved over the 15 years that Dave has owned the café with many shifts and changes to layout and boundaries of the garden.

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There is a watering system in place around the perimeter, but the many containers are watered by hand. Except for an extended two- or three-day cleanup in early Spring and special projects, Dave devotes from four to six hours a month for routine maintenance. Because it is part of the business and therefore carefully monitored, Dave knows he spends an average of $400 per year on the health and improvements to the garden.

 

 

Customer Jacquie Burr enjoys the patio that she calls a _sanctuary._

 

Four years ago, Dave and new co-owner Terry Masters put a plan together to remake the garden terrace. They, along with strong customer support, rebuilt the patio into two terraces with a handsome tiled wall and the tiled medallioned drains. Among the stone and timber retaining walls are architectural concrete blocks with a Wright-like design. Dave and Terry created them by repurposing as a mold the plastic containers in which spinach is delivered to the café.

 

The bamboo border at the south end of the garden is contained by a two foot deep concrete barrier wall on three sides.  The owners are on constant patrol for fugitive shoots on the one remaining side. When Light started the garden in 2002, the decorative water fountain on the west side was one of the first things installed. “Every garden needs its own water feature,” says Dave. The second water feature, in a giant urn, was added this year.

Customers Terri Toben and Mary Sanel conduct some business on the terrace.

The large almond tree near the southwest corner is one of three almond trees plus the sycamore that were originally here. The other two almonds failed and were removed, opening the garden to a little more light, and replaced by a purple locust. The entire garden area is shady much of the year, so they seek out shade-loving plants. Dave enjoys landscaping as a hobby and his flair is evident. Although there is often lots of color in this garden throughout the seasons, Dave says texture is his most important consideration in choosing plants. Among his many admired plants are weigela, hostas, buddleia, Japanese anemone, and many more. The oak-leaf hydrangea, purchased as a gift from customers, is especially treasured. “Being a shadier garden, one can’t choose their favorite plants but learn to the enjoy and work with the shade lovers.”

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Submitted by: Ruth Sloan

With thanks to Louise Shawkat for the suggestion

Garden of the Month: August 2017

The garden that Jacob Gougé has created around the home he shares with his wife and LR 5-17daughter at 240 N. First St. reflects both his creativity and his respect for living things.  It is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for August.  Over the 17 years they have lived there, Gougé has salvaged and bartered the materials to create terracing in the back, define garden beds, build a fire pit, display interesting artifacts, and more on this small lot.   It was bare dirt when they moved in.  He is very resourceful.

But Jacob has a generous spirit as well that prompts him to offer lilacs to passersby, share cuttings of his many succulents with those who ask, and invite admiring strangers inside the gate to see the whole garden.

IMG_2993Along with two smaller lilacs elsewhere in front, there is a huge lilac bush in the northwest corner of the fenced area.  Many of the branches of this lilac are five or more inches in diameter and have an unusual shredded bark.  This lilac bush is strong enough to support one end of two hammocks!

There are extraordinary ceramic pieces throughout the property, most of them created by Gougé.  He also pursues all manner of artistic expression via painting, sewing, beading,and other media. In addition, Jacob makes interesting planters for succulents out of stones or gnarled wood in which he drills holes to plant materials and for drainage.

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Food crops are concentrated in the back yard, that Jacob calls his “in town farm.”  This garden is 100% organic.  He grows lettuce all year, protecting the yield from the blazing sun at this time of year with a colorful umbrella.  He also grows asparagus, squash, carrots, snap peas, herbs of many varieties, and much more, often in recycled containers. He starts most plants from seeds in a hot box.  The family has three healthy chickens that provide eggs as well as droppings for compost.IMG_3001FullSizeRender 3

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