This garden is one of the prettiest classrooms you'll ever see. The lessons it teaches in good design can help almost every homeowner.
The story began when Ann and David Hicks bought the house next door to theirs in Jacksonville, Florida. Their home, which had at one time belonged to Ann's mother, was on a shady lot. But Ann and David liked the sunnier yard of the adjacent house for its gardening potential. After building a breezeway to join the two homes, they created a new guest parking area and redirected the old drive.
But they still needed to address other issues. For example, how could they create a feeling of welcome and sanctuary at the new entrance? Should the design be formal or informal? How could they get privacy from the street and enough open space for children to play? And what could they do to take advantage of the many hydrangeas in the yard that Ann's mother had tended for decades? For answers to these questions, they turned to Mary Palmer Dargan of Dargan Landscape Architects in Atlanta for the design and Jerry Crouch and Judy Drake of Sunscapes Landscape Designs in Jacksonville for the installation.