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.