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Homeowners use blooming plants to brighten a once-neglected garden

The lovely garden at 467 Scenic Drive is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for April. It is a work-in-progress by homeowners Elaine Yates and Michael Costello who have had this property for 3.5 years.

Although the yard had good bones, with handsome hardscape and fruit trees, the garden had been greatly neglected in recent years. They removed several diseased or dead trees which has opened things up for new additions with an emphasis on blooming plants.

Elaine is the primary gardener and designer, but Michael contributes, rebuilding an impressive set of raised beds for edibles in the side yard as well as choosing and placing a new wisteria.

Having moved to Ashland from the Bay Area, Elaine has had a steep learning curve that included deciphering new weather patterns and understand and more aggressive deer than she was accustomed.

On the plus side, she has been happy to discover the multitude of bees and other pollinators and the wonderful profusion of blooming plants that thrive here. She spends anywhere from 3-5 hours per week in the slow season (winter) to 10-12 hours per week the rest of the year.

Heather’s, grape hyacinths, forsythia, azaleas (in the deer-proof backyard) and rosemary are the stars right now but soon the rhododendrons will burst forth, so Elaine encourages readers to delay visiting until late April or early May to admire the garden from the street.

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 www.ashlandorgardenclub.org or come to the meetings at 12:30 on the first Monday of the month, October through May, at Pioneer Hall on Winburn Way, when social distancing is halted.

Larry Rosengren photoElaine Yates and Michael Costello’s home at 467 Scenic Drive is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for April.