This month’s featured garden is that of Kit & Terry Schooley on Gramercy Road. Their love of nature is announced right away by their mailbox cover, a foreshadowing of all that is about to unfold on my tour.
My tour guide on this visit was Dr. Kit Schooley, a Presbyterian Minister. He and Terry, a former Delaware State Representative are always so kind and welcoming – this was not my first visit to their home, as we’ve known each other for a few years in the Extension Master Gardener Program, as well as through their involvement in the NC Unit of the Herb Society of America. I let them know they’d been nominated for Yard of the Month by a reader of this blog, and they expressed their modesty over it. But what gardener doesn’t love to show off their garden?
As the back yard came into view, Kit explained how they’d redesigned what they found when they bought the house. Mostly just azaleas. So they carefully planned what they wanted and where everything should go. It had been fairly shady, but a loss of a large shade tree has changed the light recently. Regardless, the plants that haven’t been moved to more ideal lighting seem to be adapting well.
In the photo below you can see some of the garden structures that most of us have – a small storage shed, bbq grill, shepherd’s hooks, and the fence. That big, blue, beautiful obelisk back left makes a bold garden art statement and will support a couple of crossvines in time.
As we wandered, Kit explained why each plant was where it was. It was clear that the thought process was well-approached. Much more disciplined than my own plant-collector process. The Schooleys have already decided what they want to add this fall.
As we crossed into the more utilitarian area of the garden, I observed the Schooleys’ solution to marauding wildlife in the vegetable garden – an 8′ tall fence of poultry wire seemed to be doing the trick. We talked tomatoes of course, and how this year’s insect pests are worse than we remember in a long time, and maybe ever. A compost bin system and rain barrel completed the ensemble.
So congratulations and thank you to the Schooleys for letting me poke around, and thanks also to their friend that nominated them – it was indeed as delightful as promised!