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An artist's garden

Local artist and educator Judith Ginsburg developed and maintains a lovely garden at 139 N. Second St., which has been selected as the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for July 2020.

The property was purchased as a rental in 1988 and completely remodeled in 1996. The existing garage was converted into Ginsburg’s artist studio in 2001. Although living elsewhere in Ashland, she comes to the studio most days and has done the regular maintenance in the garden since then. She is currently planning a move into the front cottage.

In the 1990s, Ginsburg had landscape architect Steve Potter create a plan for the garden. Much of the hardscape remains from that plan, but only a few plants. In 2016, Solid Ground Landscape redesigned the front yard, and in 2018, they did the back, always accommodating Ginsburg’s preferences for plants and color. Since then, she has added to and subtracted from the plan. Solid Ground workers come twice a month to do standard maintenance. Ginsburg averages about an hour a day on garden care. It is truly an artist’s garden.

It includes a gorgeous fountain, the sound of which does its best to mask the noise from the post office just across the back alley from the studio. To encourage birds, there are many bird baths and bird feeders, with a lot of places to sit and relax throughout the back and a raised bed for veggies in the side yard.

On the back fence is a thriving climbing hydrangea, which are notoriously difficult to establish. A large and healthy wisteria shades the back porch, with an old but still glorious lilac in the parking strip. Several Hypercium inodorum are stellar additions to the front garden. Ginsburg often has passersby ask or leave notes asking for identification of those plants. They are shrubs (a relative of St. John’s Wort — a common groundcover with yellow flowers) with berries that range from white through pink and orange to red. Among Ginsburg’s favorite plants are peonies, hellebores and tulips.

There is a little bit of everything here and well worth strolling by.

The Ashland Garden Club has been selecting Gardens of the Month, from April through September, since 2000. Nominations are gratefully received at aogardenclub@gmail.com. Check out the club’s website at www.ashlandorgardenclub.org or attend meetings at 12:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month, October through May, COVID-19 conditions permitting.

photo by Larry Rosengren Local artist and educator Judith Ginsburg developed and maintains a lovely garden at 139 N. Second St., which has been selected as the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for July 2020.
photo by Larry Rosengren Local artist and educator Judith Ginsburg developed and maintains a lovely garden at 139 N. Second St., which has been selected as the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for July 2020.