Garden Featured in the Hill Rag Magazine


My most beloved garden was honored in this month's Hill Rag magazine as one of "Five Great Corner Gardens: Our Annual Paen to the Hill's Urban Gardeners."  The garden is the parsonage for the pastor of Capitol Hill United Methodist Church.  I designed the garden in collaboration with the previous pastor Ginger Gaines Cirelli and her husband Anthony.  Ginger and Anthony were both avid cooks, so the idea for the garden was to combine an herb garden with an oramental flower garden. 


This garden concept was popular for church gardens in Charlemagne's time.  In France, they are called jardins de cure or jardins de simple in reference to the unpretentious gardens the priest cultivated in the churchyard. These gardens used both edible and medicinal plants as well as flowers for the altar.   Food writer Patricia Wells described these lost medieval gardens, "Whatever is grown in a traditional jardin de cure, it should give the impression of profusion, mystery, and surprise and evoke the simple pleasures of life."



Hakonechloa macra, Chasmanthium latifolium, Hydrangea 'Limelight', Acanthus hungaricus, Nepeta 'Walker's Low', and Nasella tenuissima.

The Hill Rag writes:

This is a great example of beach garden meets Victorian herb garden.  The garden is well proportioned since it sits on a raised wall and the homeowners have made sure there are not any oversized plantings.  The garden skirts the home and is a melding of the best of two garden styles.  The grasses and bear's breeches are reminiscent of a beach side garden.  The roses and annuals would be found in the best of both garden styles and the lavender and mint are perfect specimens of the formal herb garden.  Large oversized field stone steppers are both functional and add the right amount of drama.  The garden is full and lush, but not messy and unkempt.  Urban tranquility.  Derek Thomas

Perennials, grasses, and shrubs are composed on site before installation.
Mazus reptans blooms in May between large Pensylvania boulders.
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