Favorites in a Terraced Garden
Pete Wallenborn shares some of his favorite plants in his sloped southeastern garden.
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Located in back of his home on a wide residential street in Asheville, N.C., Pete Wallenborn's garden consists of three steep slopes crisscrossed by stone steps and narrow paths, all leading from street level to a flat area in a ravine below. Inspired by visits to Butchart Gardens in Vancouver, B.C., the ear, nose and throat surgeon designed the area at the bottom of the garden to reflect the style of the famous Canadian quarry garden, with informal grassy paths surrounded by conifers and shrubs chosen for their leaf color and texture.
Wallenborn describes his garden as "a crazy quilt of color on three levels." Along the driveway leading to the back of the house, he has planted variegated boxwoods, evergreen daphnes and an assortment of conifers interspersed with perennials and flowering shrubs. Further down one of the slopes is a bower formed by the branches of kousa dogwoods. The view from the landing below this area looks out over a sea of burgundy Japanese maples, more dogwoods, conifers of every hue of green and a beautiful pink cascading rose. On all of the slopes, Wallenborn has carved out sitting areas and placed benches, chairs and tables in various styles.
At the very bottom of the garden, colorful barberries (both burgundy and lime green) are planted among conifers, purple smoke trees, 'Annabelle' hydrangeas and magenta Lychnis coronaria. Structures in this area include a playhouse (which is actually filled with garden tools) and a child-sized, rustic pavilion Wallenborn built for his three daughters.
Wallenborn's rock work — featuring walls, steps and accents between plants — and his choice of conifers in deep greens, chartreuse and blue are important elements of this garden. In late summer he harvests brilliant dahlias of all shapes and sizes which he enjoys taking to his office and to his patients in the hospital.
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