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Oldfields honored for year-round garden

Since 2000, the Ashland Garden Club has been selecting Ashland gardens as Garden of the Month, from April through September.

From late fall through early spring no gardens are chosen because most gardens don’t look very good at that time of year. The garden at 500 Parkside Drive is the exception. It looked good all winter, looks great right now, and is being honored as Garden of the Month for April 2019.

This property is owned by Terry and Barbara Oldfield. This year they spent the coldest months of the year near grandchildren in Arizona, while the Ashland house and garden were looked after by family and neighbors. Terry usually does the garden maintenance. The side and backyards were designed by Banyan Tree Landscape about three years ago, and the front was designed by Solid Ground Landscape five years ago.

Mostly this garden is attractive because the plants were chosen to look good all year and/or because of their early- or late-season beauty. Among them are hellebore, nandina, pieris, and heathers. The colors are especially nice right now. The plants are also situated nicely, with higher plants framing lower plants. In the backyard, a magnolia is blooming now; the daffodils are just finishing up, and strong shoots herald a lovely display of peonies in the coming months. There are many comfortable spots to sit and enjoy the view.

There are surprising features in this yard which are small lawns of artificial turf both on the side and in back. While some Garden Club members applaud its water-wise qualities, artificial turf is not without its detractors, and a garden with fake grass has never been selected as Garden of the Month before. While air pollution caused by power tools to mow, blow, and trim real turf counter the oxygen-providing benefits of real grass, fake grass contains known allergens, potentially harmful substances that can leach into the earth beneath it and into waterways from runoff, and is not, at the end of its approximately 25-year life, biodegradable. It’s difficult to remember drought after the wet winter and early spring Ashland has had, but it must be anticipated, and this is certainly one way to maintain an attractive green space.

photos by Larry Rosengren
photos by Larry Rosengren