ashland.news
June 14, 2024

Garden of the Month: Hillside beauty on Holly Street

July Garden of the Month Ashland
Trees and stone frame the front entry of the Holly Street home of Kathy and Stephen French. Larry Rosengren photo
July 5, 2023

Stone work, fruit trees, tulips and irises grace slopes of July’s garden

By Ruth Sloan

Notice the welcoming stone entrance to the garden at 500 Holly St. This is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for July, home to Kathy and Stephen French. 

In 2009, Kerry KenCairn of KenCairn Landscape Architecture completed a massive redesign of the entire yard. KenCairn added graceful curved stairs featured in both front and back gardens.

Curved stairs were built into both the front and back yards in a 2009 redesign by KenCairn Landscape Architecture. Kathy French photo

The Frenches purchased the property in 2021 from Nina and Paul Winans, who had masterminded the earlier redesign.

Kathy French especially appreciates the sequential blooming times for different components of the garden, which include iris, rhododendron, tulip and hydrangea.

The yard is planted with flowers that bloom sequentially. Kathy French photo

And both Frenches enjoy the bounty of the many fruit trees that the Winans had specified in working with KenCairn, only two of which were already on the property and now include two apples, pear, sour cherry and fig.

Before the 2009 overhaul, Paul Winans personally dug up many rocks on the steeply sloped lot, which were later incorporated into the retaining walls in back.

Raised beds in the side yard allow for a fine kitchen garden, currently filled with tomato plants and an essential assortment of fresh herbs — including thyme, basil, rosemary and chives — to season any meal.

Currently Rudolfo Ramirez and his crew mow the lawns and do the more routine maintenance.

Kathy French averages about an hour a day more closely grooming the garden. And Stephen French does the occasional big jobs, including pruning the many trees.

The gardens are planted with iris, rhododendron, tulip and hydrangea, as well as several fruit trees. Kathy French photo

The Ashland Garden Club has been naming Gardens of the Month, from April through September, since 2000. Nominations are gratefully received at aogardenclub@gmail.com. Check out the club’s website at ashlandorgardenclub.org for information on meeting times and places.

Picture of Jim

Jim

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