James Beard, Week 6
Our slide show of snapshots from the James Beard garden renovation, fully complete!
GARDEN DESIGN is working with several partners to renovate the James Beard Foundation house's garden. We'll be posting updates each week for six weeks to show the gradual transformation.
Week 1: Introducing the renovation
Week 2: Working with a landscape architect, designer, and drawing up plans
Week 3: Working with professional arborists
Week 4: Time-lapse videos of the renovation
Week 5: Installing outdoor refrigerators
So, this will be a final sneak peek at the (mostly) completed garden renovation, though we'll be checking in with one more party post in September. And be sure to look for an article in our November/December issue with more photographs of the garden's transformation from start to finish.
These snapshots were taken a couple of weeks ago, when I met with Paul Keyes, the landscape architect behind the renovation, to chat with him about the garden. Join me as I give a little tour of this small garden that has been transformed with pruning, new plants, and some hard work.
This bust of James Beard, the man behind everything at the James Beard Foundation, had been languishing sadly on a bench. Now, after the renovation, he occupies a spot of honor, sitting proudly on a stand.
The bed in the back of the garden had steel edgings added, courtesy of Paul Keyes; a small border of dwarf boxwood (Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'), courtesy of Blue Ridge Boxwoods; some 'Sykes Dwarf' oak-leaf hydrageas, courtesy of Victoria's Nursery, next to the fence; and 'Dragon Wing Red' begonias in the front, surrounding the bust, courtesy of Paul Keyes.
The Leo stone planters, (which have solar-powered LED lights in them!) were donated by Just Terraces, and holds a lush kimberly fern and a border of icky finger coleus, courtesy of Paul Keyes.
The hydrangeas (not currently flowering) and the begonias, fill the bed with color and are easy to maintain, adding lush texture in a previously sparse flower bed.
In the very back of the garden, there was a small stagnant pond that had become a popular home for mosquitoes. The pig statue, which was supposed to be a fountain for the pond, was often turned off, and the corner was dark and ignored.
Keyes and his crew removed the pond, and planted an Amelanchier canadensis tree, which is native to the area. Keyes points to the importance of choosing trees that fit the size of your garden; in this case, a small tree was needed to match the dimensions of the garden.
Both of the seven-foot Amelanchier canadensis trees were donated by Victoria's Nursery. The other tree went in the opposite side of the garden, replacing a large, unwieldy tree that had become too large for the space.
Underneath the tree, Keyes and his team planted Liripe spicata, courtesy of Perennial Farm. As the months go on, the Liripe spicata will grow and spread, creating a pretty ground cover with purple flowers. Keyes strongly suggests that gardeners use ground covers instead of relying on mulch, which can often be bad for plants.
The greenhouse that extends from the back of the house used to have air conditioners installed in the bottom of the wall—those have been removed, and new benches, courtesy of Barlow Tyrie, have been placed in front. Thirty 24"-by-24" bluestone flooring pavers (and new polymer sand for the joints) provided by Pasvalco, replaced the uneven and cracked bluestone pavers that ran the length of the garden.
Alongside the lattice wall, another small garden bed is edged with the same dwarf boxwoods, courtesy of Blue Ridge Boxwoods, that border the other beds, with Hedera helix, a variegated English ivy, as a groundcover inside. While the plants are growing, Keyes and his team laid down southern pine needle mulch in between the plants.
In addition to the kimberly ferns in the planters, the lattice wall is decorated with hanging coco-lined baskets, courtesy of A.M. Leonard, planted with Clematis jackmanii for a burst of color. These planters and baskets will hold different annuals each year.
Once one of the trunks of the birch tree was removed and the tree was lifted, with many of its lower branches pruned, the garden became much sunnier and airier. The bottom of the planter around the tree was covered in moss, which adds some green contrast to the white bark of the birch tree.
The renovated garden has already been frequently used by the James Beard Foundation. Here, you can see some cocktail tables covered in plastic, waiting for an event later in the day. Everyone at GARDEN DESIGN is looking forward to our ribbon-cutting party for the garden in September and we hope you've enjoyed following along with the garden's transformation!
We also must thank Paul Keyes and his amazing team: foreman Joe Fortin and the horticulturists, Miguel Datton-Morel, Elton De Guzman, Medel de Guzman, James Foxen, Santiago Martinez, and Jerrome Riddick. Thank you for all of your hard work!