June 2017 Yard of the Month
Garden Club Award of the Month – ‘Massaging the Soul’
The Gettysburg Garden Club, through its Garden of the Month Committee, is pleased to present June 2017’s award to Baird and Sarah Tipson of 263 Springs Avenue, Gettysburg.
Gardeners have different preferences and styles. Baird Tipson calls his style “eclectic”. One might say “Gettysburg –English”. He is an avid gardener who loves watching plants grow, moving some around for their optimal success, and planting a pleasing variety of a favorite flora such as roses. Roses, tree and herbaceous peonies, hellebores, daylilies and Oriental Trumpet lilies are among the many flora within the Tipsons’ ‘iron -work’ fence and driveway line. The fence which the Tipsons installed also serves as a support for climbing roses such as ‘Abraham Darby’ and clematis, one being ‘The Duchess of Albany’, intertwined among the roses. Later, dahlias and asters will bloom in this bed. The fence contains, almost, a vigorous red twig dogwood and a Kousa dogwood. The Tipsons’ aim is to have something blooming throughout the seasons – many tulips and bulbs in the spring; roses, cosmos, baptisia, lilies of all sorts in summer; dahlias, asters, salvia in later summer and autumn. Hostas, ferns, and different hellebores flourish almost all year. As Baird says, the garden is always evolving; however, he has certainly already achieved his aim of a garden in continuous bloom.
The Tipsons bought their corner property about six years ago. Previous owners had landscaped a little, but simply lacked time or inclination to plant much. The house is a classic brick with a solarium addition on one side , and a centered walk from the front gate on Springs Avenue to the welcoming porch. The garden beds basically surround the house and run within the fence. A minimal grass lawn separates the two beds. Graceful roses grow along the front of the porch creating a bower like effect. Off the Tipson back porch, shaded areas host a variety of hostas, ferns, Virginia bluebells, trillium, and Christmas and Lenten hellebores. Jacks-in-the pulpit, pulmonaria, and Solomon’s seals are there also. An evergreen privet hedge shields one side of the property from Hay Street and takes the place of two maple trees once there that the Tipsons removed to allow for more sunlight. The borough has two Kentucky coffee trees growing in the sidewalk patches on Hay Street, but their tall, lightly leaved habits permit light to filter on to the garden.
Read, and read more, Baird Tipson would advise new and interested gardeners; learn from good neighbors and, if you’re lucky, particular mentors. Also, he suggests, “try what you like” and do not be discouraged by whims of weather or attacks of pests such as Japanese beetles. He has found the beetle traps seem simply to attract more beetles; milky spore treatment in the soil works IF one’s neighbors do the same. He recommends plants such as ‘lady’s mantle’ and Oriental Trumpet lilies for an early dependable success. Annuals such as zinnias and Sarah’s favorite nasturtiums brighten the garden. While Baird Tipson does not adhere to strict organic methods, he does not use pesticides on the small lawn or the flowers, and does amend and mulch the soil with natural products such as alpaca manure composted from a friend with an alpaca farm.
Drive slowly or walk attentively by this garden. Savor the fragrances and subtly coordinated colors. Take in all the sights including the many plants not mentioned. Sarah Tipson said her mother had a phrase for a lovely garden and the happy gardener’s work –“soul massaging”-. How true.
If you would like to nominate your property or someone else’s for the Award of the Month, please submit online.