Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exceptional Roses, Exceptional Garden

The Roberts garden on Fairmont Avenue is an entrancing blend of heirloom and modern plants combined with antique garden artifacts. The Roberts have lived in their house for four years and have spent much time adapting the garden to their unique interests. Dr. Roberts is the "head gardener" in addition to his work as pastor of TWhe Presbyterian Church in Westfield. Mrs. Roberts is the "under gardener" who completes many of the daily chores that keep a garden tidy and free of pests.

The backyard of their home is an entirely new design with a strong influence from Dr. Roberts' midwestern origins. He grew up with a great garden at his home in Missouri and carried the love of flowers and gardening to today's Westfield home. The Roberts have added a patio to the backyard using existing hardscape materials. They also added a small pond, which enhances the antique statue that formerly resided in the garden of Dr. Roberts' grandparents. A black lace sambucca has been planted in back of the statue to heighten its beauty.
In the spring witch hazel is in bloom as is one of their camellias. As the weather warms, there is an abundance of day lilies and blackeyed susans that blend well with the many varieties of roses. Most are David Austin roses. Exceptions are heirloom roses: the 'Harrison Rose' that blooms right after the forsythia and the 'Paul Neyon' started by Dr. Roberts great grandmother. It is a hybrid perpetual rose with huge pink blossoms.

Another striking feature of this garden is the perennial Kirengeshoma, which looks like a giant sunflower. Its beautiful golden flower is an irrestible treat to passing goldfinch. The Roberts garden is also home to a number of apple trees. Among them is a new offering called Gingergold. It originated in the South following Hurricane Camille's devastation of the orchards in Virginia. One of the world's foremost apple historians advised Dr. Roberts on which apples to plant.

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