Yard of the Month – September 2017
September Garden of the Month “A Color Scheme that Flows ”
The Gettysburg Garden Club, through its Garden of the Month committee, is pleased to present its Garden of the Month award for September, to Linnette and Dan Murray of 138 Artillery Drive, Gettysburg. While the Murrays are glad to accept our choice, they do so with some sorrow as they think about and pray for those whose homes and gardens have been devastated by the recent storms.
The Murrays have lived at their property for some 30 years, during which they have established a beautiful landscape. The family came to Gettysburg for their occupation. Dan modestly says that he is the chief mower of the lush green grass areas and transplanter of bigger trees and shrubs. Linnette is the principal designer of the property, who trims, waters, and coordinates the plantings with their seasonal display and overall color scheme in mind.
This month what catches the eye immediately is the front corner planting of coxcomb or celosia. Vibrant plumes of reds, burgundy, and some yellow are set off by several weigela bushes, now green, but bearing pink blossoms in the spring. A well-shaped broom bush is also in this bed.
In front of the house the lush green lawn pops against the rounded, trimmed shrubs — yew, azalea, golden mop cypress– planted in natural brown pine bark mulch. Well-placed accents are handsome containers planted with red geraniums, tall spikey-leafed grass, and dwarf arborvitae. A small mulched bed centered by a crabapple tree breaks the green of the front lawn while another small bed by the front walk sports a helpful address sign surrounded by azaleas which bloom pink and purple in the spring. Subtle, pebbly round stepping stones lead from the front walk, around the house’s corner, to the garage’s apron, thence to the private back garden. A tall line of mature arborvitae screens this garden from Oak Drive with smaller, rounded shrubs including azaleas adding interest in front of the trees. A bed between the tree screen and the garage entrance surrounds their mailbox with euonymus and variegated liriope backed by larger Japanese hollies.
The back garden is an inviting outside room. One glimpses a handsome, curving stone walk that leads from the garage drive to the hospitable terrace. The walk borders the grass area and a bed that includes lavender astilbe, burgundy heuchera, a hydrangea, a dogwood, and is lined with vigorous tall white begonias. Tall evergreen trees planted by both the Murrays and their Oak Drive neighbor frame the back of the area. Three containers with “heavenly bamboo” in each, ornamental grasses, and various hostas help fill the back bed which in turn is lined with “red heart hibiscus”, white flowering rose of Sharon, and knock-out roses with pink blooms. Red salvia fronts a water fountain of Victorian style in the middle of this bed. Coral bells, phlox, and sea oats are a few of the bed’s other plants.
The terrace features containers of various heights and sizes filled with herbs, coleus, geraniums, and more. The garden side of the terrace has a border of Japanese holly with full coreopsis in front . The Murray family and friends must enjoy pleasant times here as well as inside the lovely addition that is one side of the terrace. The views of the back garden from both this room and the terrace are a joy.
Linnette describes their gardens as “evolving” through the years and the seasons. She advises the gardener not to feel “pressured” to achieve a total vision at once – such “would take away from the fun”. The Murrays have planned carefully, however, as evidenced by their putting plants in locations they will thrive in, by their coordinated color schemes, and by their attention to details such as the gently curved lines of beds and borders. They have used the many good local resources for plants and their care but also enjoy the cooperation of like-minded neighbors. Enjoyed too are the company of birds, rabbits, and a squirrel who drinks nonchalantly from a water fountain in close full view. The Murray property is an ever-pleasing composition to see on a quick view or on a special look such as I was privileged to have.
To nominate your property or someone else’s for the Garden of the Month award please fill out our form.