Study the Classics
On a ridge high above the Tennessee River, designer and author Ryan Gainey creates a four-season garden inspired by the world's greatest outdoor rooms.
The Plants: A double row of Korean boxwoods rings the center fountain. A corridor of clipped ironwood trees (Carpinus caroliniana) and American boxwoods creates the outer wall of this semicircular garden. 'Ryan's Yellow' mums tumble over the stone retaining wall along the pergola.
The Details: The baptismal font fountain is on axis with the pool house doors and is visible through the pergola.
The Plants: 'Ryan's Yellow' mums run the entire length of the pergola, periodically punctuated by 'Rachel Jackson' asters. Both perennials were discovered and named by Ryan. The climbing aster at the far end adds color up high.
Stonework and Lanterns
The Plants: 'Limelight' and oakleaf hydrangeas flank the base of the stucco retaining wall. The border of 'Ryan's Yellow' mums and 'Rachel Jackson' asters also includes goldenrod, Joe-Pye weed, and Japanese anemone.
The Plants: A delightful tangle of flowering vines turns the area beneath the pergola into an intimate room. The season begins with clematis, followed by American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens), 'Rêve d'Or' and 'Cécile Brunner' roses, and then climbing aster (Aster carolinianus).
Pool House and Pavilion
The Plants: Paired American boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens) flank the formal lawn. At each end, pyramidal 'Emily Bruner' hollies (Ilex 'Emily Bruner') are centered within a hedge of variegated boxwoods (B. sempervirens 'Elegantissima'). Three chaste trees (Vitex agnus-castus) anchor the sides of the pavilion.
The Details: The pavilion gains importance by being raised three steps above grade. Low, wide stone steps run its entire width.