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Roll Out the Green Carpet

Southern Living Magazine | Southern Gardening | June 2013

Roll Out the Green Carpet

From tidy rows that make picking veggies a pleasure to elegant lawns planned for outdoor play, this garden in Pine Mountain, Georgia elevates standard grass to star status

by REBECCA BULL REED ~ photographs by  RALPH LEE ANDERSON


Though perfect grass wasn't the focus of their efforts, Otis and Sandy Scarborough love a great lawn. When building their home in west Georgia, they wanted to create a landscape they could share with their family — a place to make memories for years to come. They succeeded with help from landscape architect Bill Lincicome of HighGrove Partners, LLC, and Bruce Jones of Grow Landscaping. The verdant thread that ties all the rooms of this garden together is tough-wearing, drought-tolerant 'Zeon' zoysia, which also handles light shade. This smart turf sets the stage for family time. Here's how they reinterpreted classic design ina rural settting.

Soften Hard Tasks

THE BIG IDEA: Otis wanted a neat garden where he could pick vegetables in his bare feet. Wide rows provide easy access for planting, harvesting and tening. "Soft grass between your toes makes gardening fun," says Otis. "Hard surfaces get hot making it seem like work."

THE DETAILS: Coneflowers, peppers, gerbera daises, and zinnias add unexpected color planted next to veggies. Mulch well for a finished look.

Forge a New Path

THE BIG IDEA: The curving path made of Crab Orchard stone satisfies Sandy's wish for an informal walkway that's both charming and functional. Because small stones can make walking a little trickier, Bill selected large stones ranging from 24 to 36 inches across.

THE DETAILS: Dwarf mondo grass and creeping Jenny, planted between the stones, add contrast and texture.

Step Right Up

THE BIG IDEA: Sandy wanted to re-create lawn steps she'd seen in an old photograph. "Garden steps should be gracious," says Bill. "Aim for risers that are 5 to 5.5 inches tall and treads between 15 and 18 inches wide." Less formal than hardscape yet more substantial than a rolling grade, lawn steps add pastoral elegance, which is ideal when you want the eye to flow from one part of the landscape to the other.

THE DETAILS: Crab Orchard stone curbing was anchored, backfilled with topsoil, and then sodded. Before sodding, the lawn crew tapered the top from end to back so grass would creep to the edge of the stones, softening them.

Frame the Edge

THE BIG IDEA: Even small gardens can benefit from a little bit of grass. The narrow strip between the brick patio and the planting beds in the water garden is all it takes to make a big impact. Like a frame around a piece of art, the fine-textured grass gives your eyes a place to rest and makes the flower hues pop. The grass visually ties this garden to the greens in the adjoining one.

THE DETAILS: To speed up the mowing, base the width of your lawn strip on the size of your mower deck: One or two passes and you're done!

Designate a Space for Play

THE BIG IDEA: Otis and Sandy wanted to create a play space with its own feel where their grandkids could roll around and have fun. Dubbed the "NCAA field," this versatile lawn with a formal twist hosts family badminton, petanque, and croquet tourneys. Sited between the rose garden and the pool, it's also sophisticated enough for special events.

THE DETAILS: To reinforce the shhape of the lawn, they echoed its lines with a crips edge, mulch, and plants such as boxwoods, hollies, and azaleas.

 

Contact Grow Landscaping | 706.256.4888 | tommyj@growscaping.com