The front garden of the Hutchinson’s house at 2264 Lipscomb St. takes its cue from the home’s Classical Revival architecture, incorporating symmetry and balance in plantings on either side of the leaded glass front door. The home was built in 1903 and purchased by the current owners in 1993. According to a legend, the red bricks used in the construction of the home were surplus from the construction of Thistle Hill, the home of Electra Waggoner Wharton, built in 1903-4 at 1509 Pennsylvania Ave. A 112-year-old pecan tree dates from the house’s first days; live oaks provide additional shade on the side of the house, leading into a gated side garden with shade plantings.
In the parkway near the street, a row of four rose bushes line up to greet visitors. The red brick of the home’s façade is echoed in a red brick path from the front steps to the sidewalk. The path is flanked on either side by balanced plantings of liriope, irises, cannas, and lantana: behind these, directly in front of the porch, while a line of dwarf yaupon holly shrubs shelter the front porch. On the porch, there is more symmetry in the potted and hanging plants, mostly ferns, California fan palm trees (Washingtonia filifera), topiaries and some garden herbs, like a potted basil on the front steps. Even the wind chimes are matched with ones of equal weight and size on either side of the front steps. The porch has several seating options from which to enjoy the view of the yard, including a white wicker settee on the right, and a white painted table with ladderback chairs for alfresco dining on the left.
The Hutchinsons do all of the gardening themselves, and prefer drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants: “Nothing rare here,” they say. Many of their perennials were bought at the Southside Preservation Hall plant sale, held every April just up the street from their house until it was suspended in 2006. Their favorite friendship plants are poppies from Susan Harper’s lovely garden on 5th Avenue, and their favorite purchased plants are irises from Hondo Iris farm near Riodoso, New Mexico (hondoirisfarm.com).
The Hutchinson’s have our thanks and a gift certificate from C. C.’s Touch of Nature for their lovely front yard.
Yard of the Month selection committee: Steve Cocanower, Susan Harper and Bonnie Blackwell.