Cavan Garden Combines Eclectic Style and Yard Art Fun

Mike and Becky purchased this home situated on 2 acres from the Flewellens in May 2004. Dr. Bill Flewellen had been the Dean of the College of Business at UGA and also a Master Gardener.  He continually amended the soil with poultry litter, creating a rich foundation for growing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and other plants.  The Cavans have planted Blue Rug Junipers (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’) on the bank in front of the house.  A flowering quince (Chaenomeles japonica ‘Toyo-Nishiki’) graces the foot of the driveway.

  A stately cherry tree (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) with under-plantings of hellebores, autumn ferns, and aspidistra, stands at the top of the driveway.  This area is filled with azaleas (Rhododendron sp.), sweetshrub (Calycanthus sp.), gardenia, peony, indigofera, daphne and forsythia. The iron gate supports a ‘ Peggy Martin’ rose, a Hurricane Katrina survivor purchased by Becky through Southern Living Magazine. Sales proceeds went to the victims of the hurricane. 

 Beyond the gate, pathways and occasional stone steps lead to three flower beds, each containing bulbs, shrubs, Japanese maples, and native trees.   UGA memorabilia, and yard art created by Becky add interest throughout the garden.

 In 2004, many pine trees were cleared to provide sun for the raised bed vegetable garden complete with a  potting shed and a plant hospital.   Boxwood topiaries, which Becky shapes, flank the rustic door into the garden.  The path from the potting shed leads to a putting green.

 As the visitor exits through the gate into the front garden, there is another large planted area that includes Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) and Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara).


Helen Kuykendall
Johnston Garden Features Formal Hedges And Zen Vignettes

Maria’s gardening hobby and Kevin’s professional irrigation expertise have combined to turn this garden into a delightful place with many features to enjoy.

 The thick manicured grass in the front yard surrounds a bed of Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) shaded by multi-trunked birches.  The back garden is entered through the Secret Shade garden, and there are bright yellow-leaved oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Little Honey’) on the right and compact oakleaf hydrangeas (H. q.  ‘Pee Wee’)  on the left.  A weeping lace leaf Japanese maple(Acer palmatum ‘Red Dragon’) dominates a waterfall and Koi pond. Other notable features include a potted ‘Viridis’ Japanese maple surrounded by moss, a frog pond bordered by hostas, an Orangeola Japanese maple and a Japanese dogwood (Cornus kousa).  A vigorous cross vine (Bignonia capreolata) covers the back fence and a bubbling fountain made of Turkish coral completes the picture.

 A walk along the boxwood-lined path, past a brick wall covered in creeping fig (Ficus pumila), leads visitors to the vegetable garden.  Standing at each corner of the raised stone beds are potted citrus trees (tangerine and lime). Next is the alligator garden with groundcovers of Scotch moss (Sagina subulata)and Mondo grass,  a Dr. Brown Japanese maple and miniature Japanese white pines (Pinus parviflora ‘Tansu Kazu’).

 Before you leave the back garden, notice the large open expanse planted with blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) and ‘George L. Taber’ Azaleas.  Final spots of interest are a small greenhouse covered with jasmine and the gravel and stone Zen Garden.

Helen Kuykendall
The Knowlton/Davis Garden Showcases Southern Charm

John and Bob’s garden is filled with many plants given to them by family and friends.  “Almost everything in the garden has a story or special meaning,” they say.

 The nineteenth-century home was moved to its current location on The Hill in the late 1990s by Cole and Kelly Barks and some of the hydrangeas in the garden date back to their early plantings.  The white picket fence, the wood farm fences, and the wing to the left of the house are more recent additions.  A newly built workshop to the right of the house blends in seamlessly. 

 John was assisted by Michael Shaffer in designing the front garden where the walkway to the house is lined with American boxwood. The front door is adorned with an evergreen smilax vine.  Lusterleaf holly (Ilex latifolia), Snowball viburnum (Viburnum macrocephalum) and ‘Yuletide’ sasanqua camellias are found to the left of the portico.  The cutting garden includes hellebores, shrubs, and several varieties of iris.  As you enjoy this garden you might notice a leprechaun imported from Ireland, a large clamshell, a birdbath that had been in John’s grandmother’s garden in Americus, Georgia, and, by the side gate, a Scottish coal stove.  The two iron and wood benches are from a park in Kent, England, and the street lamp is from downtown Athens.

 Visitors enter the backgarden through an arbor covered with ‘Joseph’s Coat’ rose.  A brick lattice fence, on which a cross vine (Bignonia capreolata ‘Jekyll’) is growing, delineates the opposite side of this area.  This garden is filled with hydrangeas, Japanese fatsia, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), variegated shrubs, a little sassafras tree, pussy willow, curly willow, and camellias.

Helen Kuykendall
The Middendorf Garden has Heritage Blooms and an Antique Barn

The Middendorf home is a farmhouse built in 1920.  It is sited in a grove of mature pecan and oak trees on a 137-acre farm set in rolling scenery just north of Athens.  This land was originally part of the Old King Plantation.  G.H. Thurmond bought it when he returned from the Civil War.  The original antebellum mansion burned in the late 1800s.

 Many gardeners have left their mark on the land.  Eloise Thurmond Maxwell planted thousands of daffodils, daylilies, and iris that bloom each spring.  More recently, several individual garden areas have evolved as a result of Karen’s passion for plants.  As you stroll around the farm you will see a fruit orchard, a brand new, fenced vegetable garden, a formal herb garden, large perennial beds, a Japanese garden with koi pond, and many varieties of antique roses along the fence.  A white rose named ‘Frau Karl Druschki’ was given to Wayne Middendorf’s grandmother by her husband on their first wedding anniversary.  Other roses include ‘New Dawn’, ‘Penelope’ and ‘Cecile Brunner’.  Throughout the farm there are generous plantings of mature shrubs and trees, which add to the feeling of permanence and tradition.

 Included in our tour is a large, 200 year old working horse barn of great charm and character.  Karen painted the nine-foot Hex sign herself.  The “Silverthorn” name of the horse stables has fine connotations for the Middendorf family.  Above the stables and under the eaves is a huge wood-floored open space which is used for family gatherings.  From here the visitor may survey the farm and the open countryside beyond.



Helen Kuykendall
The Cary Garden is a Woodland Retreat

Marilynn and Rich have been working and watching for 20 years as their garden has evolved into a peaceful retreat. David Hubbard and William Heredra have helped them achieve their vision by creating a dry rock riverbed which drains water from the front beds and directs it through a woodland setting down to a creek at the rear of the property.

To enter the woodland garden the visitor walks between the plantings in front of the house which include pale peach-colored ‘Hilda Niblett’ azaleas, a fine edgeworthia shrub, white crepe myrtle, clematis, and red, pink and salmon amaryllis. A stroll under the wisteria-covered arbor brings you to a slate patio surrounded by ferns and hosta. Rich has built numerous footbridges to connect the different parts of the garden. A blueberry patch (Vaccinium sp.) flanks one of the bridges which leads to a covered seating area shaded by red buckeyes (Aesculus pavia) next to an Asian stone lantern.

Japanese maples (Acer palmatum ‘Glowing Embers’) and Grancy Graybeard trees (Chionanthus sp.) are planted along the rock-lined paths. Marilynn and Rich have been bringing rocks back from their South Georgia farm for many years to create the beautiful paths that will take you by a fire pit, water fountains, a bee box, and a quiet seating area under the gazebo. The multi-level decks allow them to view the garden from the treetops.

Returning to the front of the house the visitor will walk along a driveway edged with ‘Autumn Twist’™ Encore® Azaleas, which flower in stripes of purple and white, and weeping, green lace-leaf Japanese maples (Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Waterfall’).

Helen Kuykendall