Country Gardens - - Cover Story -

seven boxes of seeds with him plus di­vi­sions of plants from his pre­vi­ous prop­erty. Be­fore the house was com­pleted, flats of seeds were ger­mi­nat­ing in readi­ness. While the house was only a skele­ton, Ge­orge was well on his way to­ward the first of many gar­dens—with min­i­mal mone­tary in­vest­ment.

Early July is peak for the 90-foot-long bor­ders, with home-rooted climb­ing roses strad­dling ar­bors over­head and salvias, spireas, se­dums, bee balms, lilies, and sweet Wil­liams filling the beds. Ge­orge ex­tended the sea­son by adding home­grown ly­ch­nis, glo­riosa daisies (Rud­beckia hirta), ager­a­tum, cone­flow­ers (Echi­nacea cul­ti­vars), and bal­loon flow­ers (Platy­codon gran­di­florus). In case there’s a blank slot, flats of seedlings wait in readi­ness. The re­sult is a salute to a Bri­tish manor gar­den with a gen­er­ous dose of Amer­i­can in­ge­nu­ity and Yan­kee fru­gal­ity.

Bri­tish-style mixed bor­ders were just the be­gin­ning. The cou­ple also in­stalled a swank Ital­ian parterre stud­ded with foun­tains be­side the house, edged with 400 tiny ‘Win­ter Gem’ box­woods from big-box stores. “It took four to five years for the box­woods to form a

solid edg­ing. Now, two years later, they’re al­most too big,” Ge­orge says. The box­woods’ vigor be­came an as­set be­cause Ge­orge ul­ti­mately used the cut­tings—47 to be ex­act—to edge an­other sunken gar­den filled with suc­cu­lents to host the wed­ding of Dean’s niece. “I had to do some­thing with all those box­woods,” Ge­orge says of the ex­pan­sion. But even that project isn’t the fi­nal piece in the puz­zle, be­cause this ul­tra-pro­duc­tive pair has more schemes afoot. No doubt what­ever is next on the agenda will re­sult in some­thing en­vi­ably gor­geous. But you can also bet it will be ac­com­plished with­out ka-ching.

ABOVE Ge­orge’s many cut­tings from his ‘Win­ter Gem’ box­wood found a new home in a parterre gar­den di­vid­ing pat­terned plant­ings of laven­ders ‘Sil­ver Mist’, ‘Hid­cote’, and ‘Mun­stead’. LEFT A weep­ing blue at­las cedar (Ce­drus at­lantica ‘Glauca Pen­dula’)...

ABOVE Ge­orge and Dean found three fo­cal-point foun­tains at the Brim­field An­tique Flea Mar­ket. One found a home in the spirea gar­den, its base sur­rounded by var­ie­gated box­wood and soap­wort (Saponaria of­fic­i­nalis). The other two an­chor the long for­mal...

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