Editor Rebecca Reed shares her top 10 backyard retreats.
I love birds―their song adds dimension to a space. Once a private residence, Wing Haven in Charlotte, North Carolina, is now
open for your enjoyment.
The oft-forgotten sideyard is the redheaded stepchild of the garden. When you give it a little attention, you might begin
to play favorites. Love, love, love the texture the pebbled border adds here. I respect the fact that this was a pain to install,
but then again, when the space is small, details count.
Destinations bring out the child in all of us. My heart leaps when I walk into a garden that sports a shelter of some sort.
Plain or fancy, rustic or refined, covered spaces aren’t just pretty―they offer a retreat from the Southern sun.
Sometimes, the only place to get that backyard feel is up front. It’s okay to break the rules. Just remember: Keep it cozy
by adding walls. No one ever feels comfortable being on display.
Another wonderful idea is brought forward here. Best garden detail: A peek-through window mounted in a hedge.
Southerners can’t get enough of this plant―and that includes me. One plant alone can make a show. Plant a hillside and you’ll
make a statement.
Speaking of this soothing color, it was a joy to visit Verla Ledlow in her Loxley, Alabama, garden. “Pick your favorite color
and stick with it,” she advises. You can’t go wrong.
How decadent: a room of moss. Proof again that as adults we still want to create our own magical world.
I have great respect for those who exhibit restraint. It would have been too easy for landscape architect Jeffrey Carbo and
his team to talk this family into piling it on. The quote “what we did, we decided to do nicely” just may be the understatement
of the year, but nice is what makes the backyard just right.
There are some gardeners that you bond with the minute you step out of the car. Sam and Linda Christine in Aiken, South Carolina,
are those folks. Every plant has a story, every curving bed line a purpose. Every time I left, I left with something in hand.
This garden is memorable not just for the plants, but for the people who love to share.