My third stop on the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour last weekend was the garden of Paul and Kay Passmore, whose new home of stone, steel, and glass is surrounded by a one-year-old, wildlife-attracting, native-plant garden. Here’s the official description:
The gardens surround a new contemporary house on a half-acre property in North Dallas. The landscape was installed between spring and fall of 2010. The owner is a master gardener who likes to focus on native and water-wise plants to create a habitat that invites nature—birds and butterflies—into the garden. Zoysia lawn areas, stone walkways, and terracing make pathways to antique roses and bunch grasses.
The garden hasn’t filled in yet, but you can see that it will one day be a billowing, blooming garden with accents of ornamental grasses and tough, xeric plants. Interestingly, the owners didn’t go for a retrained, modernist garden of massed plants to complement their contemporary home, but chose instead a naturalistic mix of natives and old roses and other drought-tolerant plants.
Hardly any lawn exists out front on the large, sloping corner lot except near the house, where broad grass paths lead through the garden. The slope is tamed with a dry stream (not visible here) and an extensive planting of deep-rooted ornamental grasses, silvery artemisia, and small native trees like this desert willow.
A gigantic, steel coneflower sculpture greets you as you stroll around the house toward the back yard. That’s an Arizona cypress beside it.
You can find living coneflower in the garden too.
In back, a burgundy Japanese maple stands out against the steel siding of the house.
The back garden is quieter and more dominated by a swath of lawn along the house. But what really stands out is this gleaming, shady porch with ceiling fans twirling.
Stone steps lead down to this sunken garden, sheltered by a wooden arbor, between the garage and the main house.
Attractive natural textures where the arbor meets the stone siding of the house
Past the back porch, a multi-walled trellis-screen makes a unique room divider that screens from view a rainwater collection system and vegetable garden. It may also serve to provide privacy to the back yard from cars passing by on the road out front.
Another view of the trellis screen
Additionally, a stone wall screens the large rainwater cistern and steel-edged vegetable beds from view of the street.
I like this visually lightweight aluminum fence and gate. The grass path leads through the corner garden and back around to the front of the house.
Native coral honeysuckle vine clambers up the fence, glowing beautifully in the warm afternoon sunshine.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts about the Dallas Open Days tour. As for the other two gardens on the tour, I skipped the butterfly farm due to lack of time, and the Merritt/Kleinmann landscape (I won’t call it a garden) surrounding a 1958 modernist house just didn’t resonate with me. For a look back at the garden rooms of the Middleton Farm garden, click here.
If you’re looking forward to more tours, I’ll have some soon. Today I’m seeing the Wildflower Center-sponsored Gardens on Tour 2012. More gardens!
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