“In The Garden The Answers Come.”
I see a lot of houses in Richmond. Last month, while helping some friends of mine with their search for the perfect house, I stumbled across Barry and Sue’s house in Byrd Park. I have probably driven by it a hundred times, but never realized that on the other side of their pine fence (hand-crafted by Barry) there was a beautiful back yard oasis in the middle of Byrd Park. I asked them how they created their back yard oasis:
Me: How does your yard compare to when you bought the house?
Sue: We moved to Richmond in August of 2001 from Sarasota, Florida. We both enjoy outdoor living and fell in love with the house because of the double lot and the potential it had. Initially it had an old deck with walking stones to the deck, a chain link fence, old broken storage shed, weeds, weed trees lining the sidewalk and lots of ground.
Me: Who is the master gardener in your house? How did you come up with what we see today?
Sue: We decided to consult with Sneed’s Nursery and with our input they came up with a design. We used that as a basis for the development of the retaining wall, brick patio and design of the deck. We made some changes in adding a pond and a storage shed.
Barry is a carpenter by trade and was able to build the fence, pergola entry, deck and pergola over the deck. He also installed the wall and laid the patio and sidewalk.
Me: Any projects or plants you want to highlight?
Sue: The plantings of the garden have evolved over the years. Initially Sue worked at Richmond Hill Retreat Center in Church Hill and was inspired by their gardens and used them as a place for meditation. I found a little statute that stated “In The Garden The Answers Come.” I envisioned the garden as a place for people to sit and find peace in their lives. Richmond Hill was also going through a major renovation so I was able to acquire some of their plants they needed to get rid of in order to renovate. That was the beginning of a continued process of getting plants from friends, Ginter Botanical Gardens Fall and Winter Sales and the continued
process of process of transplanting. The focal tree in the middle of the garden, which is a curly willow, was purchased for the purpose of floral design which I use in designing for weddings, etc.
Me: How do you use your garden space and how does it shape your life?
Sue: Our garden and deck have been a place of recreation for our family, neighborhood and friends. We love to entertain and what better ambiance to refresh the senses than the beauty of seasonal flowers and plants, deck lights, waterfalls, fish and smells of smoked pork on the grill which is a favorite of all.
Looking for your own Byrd Park garden? Barry and Sue are currently selling their home. Their address is 2202 Maplewood Ave. The current list price is $289,900.