Residential Garden of the Month

The garden of Cynthia and David McKee, 145 Sherman St., has been selected as the Ashland Garden Club's Residential Garden of the Month for July.

The word that keeps coming to mind to describe this month's garden is inviting.

First there is the large front porch with the swing, hanging baskets and pots of flowers, inviting you to sit and relax while you look out over the colorful plantings below. Then there are the plants themselves, many chosen to be inviting to the butterflies, humming birds and bees you see hovering over them. And finally there is the bench placed at the corner of the property "for the public," inviting walkers on their way up the hill to rest and enjoy the view.

The McKees moved to Ashland eight years ago from an acre in Michigan, where they had a large vegetable garden &

50 tomato plants for example. They were ready for a change &

a small yard that wasn't much work. Six years ago, the front yard had to be dug up for the installation of a French drain, leading to the removal of the lawn and construction of retaining walls to level the sloping yard. Kerry Kencairn designed the walls and provided the McKees with a list of deer""resistant plants and that was the beginning.

Today, the front has no lawn and is covered with a variety of shrubs and perennials. The plants have been chosen for low maintenance, three-season color, and attracting butterflies and humming birds. There is a Red Sunset maple in the center of the area, and a line of Cascade Snow ornamental cherries, with yellow fall color, along the curb. Abelia, butterfly bush,, daylilies, bee balm lavender and other flowers are blooming now. Earlier, heathers and heaths, viburnum, rosemary and daphne provided color.

Cynthia always plants a patch of nicotiana near the porch for its fragrance. She has gardening in her genes &

both her mother and grandmother were gardeners. She likes to putter, keeping things tidy and moving plants to another place if they aren't doing well.

David does the heavy digging and maintains the watering system. Between them they have produced a beautiful space.

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