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Once-neglected yard now full of bright, beautiful color

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When Carolyn Gale bought the house at 198 N. Wightman St. in the summer of 2014, the yard had been neglected. After spending the first year remodeling the interior, she has turned the property into a colorful and interesting site. Now her garden is the April Garden of the Month for the Ashland Garden Club.

Such is Carolyn’s attention to detail that she painted the exterior of the house to match the branches of a stunning magnolia that stars in the garden in April. She planned very carefully to assure that plants are in bloom 12 months of the year, using the book “The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A Blueprint for Continuous Color” as her guide. She spent nearly a year developing a comprehensive plan that features meandering pathways connecting the side and front gardens

Augustin Herrera and his crew installed the initial plants, irrigation system and hardscape according to Carolyn’s thoughtful plan, and continue to do the heavy-lifting and some routine maintenance. But Carolyn spends a lot of time maintaining and improving her garden and it shows.

Plants that are not deer-resistant are confined to the fenced backyard. The back was also designed to accommodate her dog who likes to dig and eat green things. She devised clever ways of protecting her plants, such as elevating potted plants on shelves. She has had to resort to pots in some places in the front yard where tree roots interfered with the development of smaller plants.

Among Carolyn’s favorite plants are rhododendrons, heathers, camellias, hellebores, and irises. She planted 500 bulbs just last year. If you look carefully, you will see rainbow patterns and themed planting beds in the landscape, such as a recently added succulent garden with a seaside theme. This is a garden to revisit throughout the year to see the ever-changing display.

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 arrange to attend meetings via Zoom at 11:00 on the first Monday of the month, October through May.

Carolyn Gale photo Carolyn Gale’s house at 198 N. Wightman St. is the April Garden of the Month for the Ashland Garden Club.
Carolyn Gale photoCarolyn Gale’s house at 198 N. Wightman St. is the April Garden of the Month for the Ashland Garden Club.
Larry Rosengren photoCarolyn Gale’s house at 198 N. Wightman St. is the April Garden of the Month for the Ashland Garden Club.
Carolyn Gale photoCarolyn Gale’s house at 198 N. Wightman St. is the April Garden of the Month for the Ashland Garden Club.
Larry Rosengren photoCarolyn Gale’s house at 198 N. Wightman St. is the April Garden of the Month for the Ashland Garden Club.
Carolyn Gale’s house at 198 N. Wightman St. is the April Garden of the Month for the Ashland Garden Club.Carolyn Gale photo