As dawn first lights the Virginia countryside, Donna Hackman is already thinking about plants. From now until the sun lies low in the west, she'll immerse herself in legions of flowers, trees, and shrubs as she does every day. "I love to garden," she explains. "It's endlessly enjoyable."
Evidence of this abounds in all directions. Divided by thickly foliaged borders into a series of outdoor rooms, her entire garden covers 3 acres. It is a garden of formal and informal spaces. Grassy paths invite you to wander and discover myriad native and exotic plants you may have read about but have likely never seen growing before. While most of us couldn't hope to duplicate anything so ambitious, Donna's garden teaches plenty of lessons the average person can put to good use at home.