ashland.news
June 14, 2024

Garden of the Month: Homegrown haven

The front yard of John Schroeder and Debbie Beck's home is a colorful canvas for their gardening. John Schroeder photo
May 22, 2024

John Schroeder and Debbie Beck have spent decades shaping the colorful landscaping of their Laurel Street home

By Ruth Sloan

The Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for May is John Schroeder and Debbie Beck’s colorful yard at 719 N. Laurel St. Although the camellia put on a beautiful show from late winter through early spring, it is fading out now and the gorgeous bright salvias, phlox, lupine, euphorbia and candytuft are just coming into their own. The Japanese maple tree and barberry bush provide contrast with their deeper spring colors.

The back yard reflects the work and choices that John and Debbie have made over the years. He is responsible for the overall landscape design and the heavy work. She handles the details and maintenance. John Schroeder photos.
The yard as seen from the akebia vine. The newish tree on the left side in front is an autumn blaze maple. John Schroeder photo

John and Debbie have been gardening at the home since they purchased the property in the spring of 1983. When they arrived, the front yard had only the camellia and a deodar cedar tree that eventually got so large it overpowered the entire yard. Now that they have had that tree removed, the Japanese maple that they planted is thriving. The back yard was steeply sloped toward the back fence. You can see how much they have accomplished in the intervening years, all while working outside the home and raising two children.

John is responsible for the overall landscape design and all the heavy work, including terracing the back yard and planning, and often building, walkways. Debbie said she handles the details, including small cleanup chores such as dead-heading and weeding. John originally constructed the backyard terraces with railroad ties, but when those wore out he had pros install block retaining walls following his design. He built the stone stairs between levels.

Among John’s favorites plants are the Japanese maple, akebia vine and camellia. Debbie favors daphne and rhododendron. They also have vegetable beds and blueberries in the back. The garden design features lovely vistas throughout with Asian touches of stone lanterns and a sculpture. An autumn blaze maple is a recent addition.

John Schroeder and Debbie Beck in a rare moment of relaxation. Ruth Sloan photo

The Ashland Garden Club has been selecting 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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