Club members recently visited former member Karen H.’s thoughtfully designed and maintained courtyard gardens in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In her approximately half-acre lot, Karen has arranged many trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals around brick patios, pathways, and a private sitting area with two tables. The grounds are all enclosed by either black metal, or wood, fencing, to maintain privacy.
There are emerald green arborvitae, ‘Miss Kim’ lilacs, ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, and ‘Bridal Veil’ spirea. The Geranium macrorhizzum, ‘Bevins Beauty,’ is used as a groundcover under the ‘Jane’ magnolia and one of two ‘Donald Wyman’ crabapple trees. In addition to ‘May Night’ salvia, there is ‘Caradonna’ salvia, ‘New Dimension’ rose salvia, and ‘Bumbleberry’ salvia. ‘Purple Sensation’ allium and a huge golden-leaved ‘Gold Heart’ bleeding heart both shout their presence. Peonies, forget-me-nots, heuchera, and large white feathery Persicaria polymorphus all also grace the property. There is a clematis against the shed/garage called ‘H.F. Young Queen of the Vines’, and one against a fence called ‘Empress’.
Karen elevated the garden design to another level of artistry, adding a seaside feel by pruning a boxwood in the shape of a whale, and adding blue forget-me-nots in the shape of the spout.
Although the property is surrounded by neighboring houses close by, it has a secluded feel created by the gardens, fences, trees, shrubs, arbors, and doorways. The use of decorations also makes the gardens feel like their own small world, set apart from the rest of the neighborhood. The owner used birdbaths, open spheres, and stone animals and planters to add interest and charm to her gardens.