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The Big One: A masterful garden

July 9, 2021 -  By
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LOCATION: Chapel Hill, N.C.
COMPANY: Myatt Landscaping & Construction

The client is a master gardener who is actively engaged in her property. The goal of the project is to have a natural, organically managed property. Deer damage is a constant struggle for the client and the team at Myatt Landscaping & Construction. The homeowners’ association does not want deer fencing, so crews rotate deterrent sprays.

“It’s almost not fair that she lives in an area where the deer are terrible because she has such an affection and love for plant material,” says Anna Myatt, floriculture manager.

Voles present another challenge, especially in the area of the property called Destiny’s Garden. The client ordered cages to prevent voles from eating the fruits of the Brunnera plantings.

Myatt Landscaping & Construction uses Stihl rototillers and blowers and Corona hand tools on the property.

Acorus Ogon grass, Tiarella, Brunnera and Heuchera are also popular on the property. The client prefers lime, rosy pinks and white plantings. This year, Myatt added foxtail ferns and zonal geraniums in pink, rose, light pink and coral tones.

“The next day, she walked out and took a photo of it and sent it to me. She was just like, ‘Wow, this is just spectacular,’” Myatt says. “That is such a compliment.”

The project earned Myatt Landscaping & Construction a Gold Award from the 2020 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

The front of the home is highly landscaped with multiple layers of plantings and has a paver motor court. Crew members from Myatt Landscaping & Construction allow the trees and shrubs to grow in their natural form but prune to keep the plants properly thinned and healthy.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Crews shear boxwood topiaries and boxwood hedges near the front entrance to maintain the plants’ structure.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Crews plant seasonal flower plantings to accent and highlight the many installations and sculptures on the property.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Myatt Landscaping & Construction uses organic fertilizers and pest control in the landscape beds and on the 17,000 square feet of tall fescue turf. To prevent deer grazing, crews use organic animal repellants.

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Each year, crews spread 40 cubic yards of triple-shredded hardwood mulch, 5 cubic yards of soil conditioner and 10 cubic yards of leaf mulch.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Stone paths wind around the entire property. The main maintenance activities for the woodland garden are hand weeding, pruning and mulching.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Crews cut back the perennial plantings in the late winter during dormancy and prune the hellebores after they finish blooming.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

In the backyard, stone paths lead to a hot tub and the pool, where there are extensive seasonal flower plantings and containers.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

The client is a Master Gardener who seeks out unique plant material that will often have different needs than what is commonly planted in the region. Crews carefully monitor and manage soil pH to accommodate the different plants. Leaves help build organic matter and improve soil structure.

 

Photo: Bobby McNary

Photo: Bobby McNary

As the native trees grew on the property, the turf in this area became too shaded, and the soil stayed wet. Crews replaced the turf with mazus and installed stepping stones to match the opposite side of the property.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

The garden surrounding the conservatory is the most manicured area of the property. Crews hand weed and shear hedges.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Crews use non-selective herbicides only on the motor court to keep it weed-free.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Twice a year, crews plant shade-loving seasonal foliage and flowers in the containers on the patio near the pool. There are 16 large and 3 small containers throughout the property.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

The flower beds continue up to the edge of the pool. Crews keep the pool deck clean and free of debris and maintain the surrounding trees and shrubs to avoid branches that hang over the pool.

 

Photo: Brian Mullins

Photo: Brian Mullins

Bright tropical plants in the summer and pansies and tulip bulbs in the winter surround the hot tub. There are about 360 square feet of seasonal flower beds throughout the property.

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University and has been in B2B publishing for seven years. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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