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Mon, 08/06/2012 - 14:58 — Sarah Martinez
A visit to the ‘White House’
An uplifting guided tour with a true garden lover
We first introduced you to the lovely ‘White House’ last month when resident gardener Ron White sent us some photos and praise for Calloway’s Nursery. (A true “Aw shucks!” moment for us!)
During our email correspondence Ron invited me for a visit. I got a chance to stop by last Friday and see this lovely garden for myself. Talk about a warm welcome! I immediately felt like one of the family, as we strolled through the breathtaking multi-tiered backyard and ‘no mow’ front yard.
I attribute much of this “homey” feeling to Ron’s sincere, down-to-earth approach to gardening. He’s quick to share his gardening triumphs and challenges. He points out numerous experiments in progress. He’s the first to admit that plants sometimes have to be removed or transplanted because they’re not thriving. It’s all part of a learning process.
Ron’s wife, Ann, cheerfully noted that her husband never works off plans or schematics. Ron confirmed this with a shrug and a smile. His gardening guide is the “Man Upstairs.” Ron said he always consults his “Higher Authority” before planting anything. Sometimes it turns out to be the ideal spot. Other times it’s not. But no matter what, much was learned in the process.
When you look at the images scattered throughout this article you might be tempted to say, “I could never do that!” But that’s because you haven’t sat down at Ron’s dining-room table and leafed through the many “before” pictures of his garden projects. Everything—and I mean everything—was a multistep process. A labor of love, indeed.
With the exception of the tri-level backyard deck, just about everything you see was created “in house.” (Favorite moment: I admired a well-constructed stair-step walkdown. Ron laughed and shared how it was made by stacking bags of cement. And the stones adding a focal point to one of the front-yard beds? Yeah—just some rocks dug out of the back. Too pretty to waste. Love this guy!)
Ron was more than happy to give me a behind-the-scenes look at many parts of his garden. I love admiring beauty, but I also like to know the methods behind the design. You never know what kind of nifty tips you can pick up! I got a peek at the compost pile, pond plumbing and irrigation systems, even a quick primer on how drainage works on this unusual property.
The ‘White House’ will certainly end up on many more garden tours in the coming years. When you get the chance you must go visit. This shady sanctuary is gardening bliss.
Oh. And tell Ron that I sent you!