Garden of April: 64 Gresham St.

The Ashland Garden Club's Garden of the Month award for April went to the garden at 64 Gresham St.

The owners of the beautiful craftsman home are Don and Phyllis Reynolds. The house, built in 1906, was designed by noted architect Frank Clark. The stone wall that surrounds the house was also built in the early 1900s. The Reynolds purchased the house in 1969. When they first moved in, the garden and the stone wall were completely covered with ivy.

The current landscape was designed by Ian Wessler, who has studied landscape design in Japan. Craftsman architecture was strongly influenced by Japanese design, so the decision was made to design a landscape that would have Japanese elements. The landscaping project began in 2004, and continued over two years.

Stone mason Shane Swenson undertook to repair and rebuild portions of the original stone wall. Wessler removed an old concrete driveway and reused the broken concrete for a stone patio and as edging for the wall. Old brick found on the property was used to create a path on the west side of the house. Wessler retained the large English walnut tree and designed and built the stylish bamboo fence on the east side of the house.

The beds just below the walnut include well-set stones in the Japanese style, and some unusual plantings of cycads and Japanese aralia. A variety of shrubs and perennials, including heathers and hardy geraniums, surround the small front lawn and walk. A soon-to-bud redbud (Cercis occidentalis "Oklahoma") is the street-side planting. Currently, the back deck is being rebuilt, so some of the container plantings from the deck are temporarily relocated along the west side of the house. The plantings are maintained by Sandy Olkers.

Do drop by and admire this lovely garden on your next trip to the library.

If you see a garden that you would like to suggest as a Garden of the Month, call Marilyn Love at 482-1443 or at 488-9211.

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