May 2016 Garden Spotlight
The Gettysburg Garden Club is pleased to present the first in an occasional series of Spotlight articles and photos that will each focus on a property with a special uniqueness.
This month we are proud to turn that Spotlight on…..an Evening Garden. Gettysburg Garden Club, through its Yard of the Month Committee, is pleased to announce that its first Spotlight is on Evening Garden landscaping by Gina and Trace McInturff, of 905 Boyd’s School Rd.
The very first thing viewers notice when they drive by this property is how these very talented owner/landscapers marry white flowers to the white trim, while black mulch mirrors the black shutter and front door color, of this light grey home. This, in itself, is beautiful landscaping, but, in the evening, it is alluring in a new way. Even without the classic Evening Garden flowers like gardenia, Formosa Lily, hydrangea, azalea, and rose, at dusk, the silvers, creams, and whites of their carefully selected flowers begin to glow in the fading light. And, it is then that Gina and Trace enjoy relaxing on their front porch, listening to the owls, and enjoying their garden’s white radiance.
Gina and Trace, born in McSherrystown and Hanover respectively, met in a Red Cross swim class when she was in eighth grade, and he in high school! They kept in touch through college and later married. In 2012, they and son Payton moved to Gettysburg, from Carroll Valley.
Gina, a graphic designer, set about planning sorely needed landscaping, using garden hoses to outline planned mulch beds and spray paint to represent plant placement. Once happy with the results, she went plant shopping for evergreens, perennials, and a few annuals. For her, “Gardening is a peaceful, therapeutic activity that feeds [her] soul.” Trace, acting CEO of an accreditation services company, is happy digging her holes and other physical jobs….a labor of love.
This lovely evening exhibition begins at the front lamppost and mailbox, where Winter Gem and Emerald Gaiety Boxwoods bookend a white clematis vine; with white Shasta Daisies, white geraniums, white daylilies, and liriope at its feet.
Looking toward the house, visitors notice the long, neat bed, sweeping in a gentle wave across the front, before turning the corner at a lovely Kousa dogwood. Anchoring the house to the ground in this bed is a very compatible array of evergreens serving as backdrops: Little Giant arborvitae, Winter Gem boxwood, and Emerald Gaiety euonymus. Near the walkway, more evergreens Boxleaf euonymus, Heller’s Japanese holly, and a Little Henry sweetspire dance through the middle.
The white flowers are the real stars of the show, and from the far corner of this long bed to the front walk, Gina has thoughtfully positioned clusters of happy white daylilies and shasta daisies. She has also added a row of white geraniums and variegated liriope, and another of Victorian White salvia dancing alongside, eventually joining.
Adjacent to the walk on each side, in addition to the arborvitae, and Boxleaf euonymus standing as ushers ready to greet the visitor, are mirroring rows of white geraniums and vinca, and white salvia; as well as several clusters of white daylilies and Shasta daisies. While across the walk, a little bird’s nest evergreen rests quietly among the salvia. Gina has finished this corner with a black-painted water fountain now filled with White Wave petunias spilling over like water.
Planters by the front door, on the porch, and at the garage corners, star more White Wave petunias, white geraniums, white bacopa, white euphorbia, and sweet potato vines (green or purple), with purple coleus and purple ornamental grass for a surprise pop of color.
This Evening Garden continues at the right side of the house. At the front corner a lovely, bed grounded with large stone slabs, steps the visitor down through this neatly tended area, past a Graham Blandy boxwood; several Heller’s Japanese hollies and ornamental grasses; clumps of white day lilies, white geraniums and variegated liriope; with white portulaca, and sedum as a groundcover among the stones. Farther from the front, the colors become brighter with double orange and Stella d’oro daylilies, purple verbena, and Golden Mop cypress, leading toward a white crape myrtle, which ties nicely to the white in the front.
It is obvious that Trace and Gina love their well thought-out and well cared for landscaping, including soaker hoses in the mulched beds, which help with time management.
They are quick to say that their biggest success is “Any good space!”
When asked what advice she would give someone about design ideas, Gina says to “Go with what appeals to you, in terms of color and texture; go online to Pinterest, Houzz, and Google, and look at other properties for ideas.” What would she tell someone asking for plant advice? She replied, “Go for ease of care; read plant tags; Google; know each plant’s needs: water, sun/shade, and soil type; and plant for future space needs.” Both Gina and Trace emphasized the importance of knowing a plant’s mature size, and planting with that in mind; “Don’t over-plant; don’t crowd!”
When landscaping a bare yard, Gina suggests first making a plan by collecting magazine pictures you like, building ideas from online/friends/other people; analyzing the area to be planted, and trying to visualize it. For someone with big dreams but a small purse, her answer is to start with perennials, talk to friends, and switch/split/share plants.
What they would like people to learn from them is to, “Experiment/try different things and Google!” But perhaps the best piece of wisdom from Gina and Trace is that “Landscaping is like a puzzle. All the pieces must fall into place, borders/edges line up, and colors not mismatched, all the pieces must fit together.” Good advice for many things!
Thank you, Gina and Trace, for sharing your lovely Evening Garden with the readers. Note: Gina and Trace are also very generously sharing their landscape design diagram with the gardening community.
Please go to www.gettysburggardenclub.com to view their plan. Also, the accompanying photo, though taken last summer, reflects a property that will soon show beautifully again.