Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Beautiful Gardens: In this urban oasis, no grass is allowed

  • Article by: BILL WARD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 19, 2013 - 3:28 PM

Scattered throughout the back yard, part of which is enclosed by a thick, 10-foot hedge, are stone paths and groupings of lava rocks and baked-clay rocks from North Dakota and stones from along the St. Croix River.

The rocks are even more visible out front, where the landscape is more low-lying, with wild geranium, snow-on-the-mountain and shade-friendly hostas and astilbes forming a carpet under the massive maple. Enclosed by a black wrought-iron fence, the front yard has the air of a cottage courtyard, not at all cluttered like so many grass-free gardens.

The boulevard came last, Sherwood said, “after we started wondering ‘Why do we still have a lawn mower just to do that?’ ”

Indeed, for all the property’s design integration, for all the connective tissue wrought by myriad stone paths and water music, the major evolution of these gardens has been giving this couple more time to actually enjoy the fruits of their labor.

They removed a labor-intensive pond, replaced cedars that didn’t like winter and spruces that didn’t like summer, got rid of most plants that had to overwinter inside and (reluctantly) eschewed Zone 5 plants such as Japanese maple. Best of all, they built the screened-in enclave where they can soak it all in.

“This shouldn’t be hard labor,” Menge said. “What we have now is more peaceful, more serene. And it’s a lot less work.”

 

Bill Ward • 612-673-7643







 

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: No grass allowed

    Tuesday November 19, 2013

    Beautiful garden winners Alice Menge and Dick Sherwood have filled every inch of their yard with lush, low maintenance...

  • Beautiful Garden winner Alice Menge's tips

    Tuesday November 19, 2013

    Tips from Alice Menge:• For spring, think small: “I love spring bulbs, but planting them under a large maple with...

  • After decades of work, Alice Menge and Dick Sherwood’s backyard landscape goes up, up and away between their screen house and the two-story house in St. Paul..

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close