The tour is this coming weekend.
Nestled in a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of Lawrence is the beautiful home and garden of Larry and Jacqueline Gadt. Larry retired as a line officer in the U.S. Forest Service and Jacqueline is a retired economist from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The couple has lived in their home for 15 years and has dedicated much of their time creating a “four season” garden retreat.
Begin your tour in the front of the house. Admire the colorful curved beds lined with azaleas, barberry, dianthus and spirea. A metal sculpture of a heron invites you to explore the gently sloping side yard. Notice the beautiful tumbled river rock that simulates a creek bed and acts as a drainage trough. More tumbled stones line the side yard to keep plants safe from soil erosion.
As you step into the back yard, you will be struck by the elaborate terracing. When the Gadts purchased the home, the yard was a straight slope leading directly to the neighborhood pond. Larry and Jacqueline designed the layout of the terracing and oversaw its construction, which lasted about eight months. They continue to make changes and additions but Larry admits “I can’t really think of anything I would do differently, except maybe becoming more familiar with what plants are suitable for this area. This is mainly because we moved here from the east coast where the climate is a little different.”
Examine the upper concrete patio attached to the basement walkout. A three tiered fountain is gracefully surrounded by statuary and more spirea. The patio curves mimic the curves of the front flower beds. Descend the large stone staircase into a meticulously manicured grassy space bordered by another stone terrace. One can imagine playing a game of croquet or badminton here on a sunny afternoon. The lower wall was constructed with stone native to the property and serves as the retaining wall for an elaborate perennial and wildflower border. Farther along, the lower neighborhood pond is the perfect backdrop for the lush border.
Head back up the staircase and under the deck to see the amazing recirculating waterfall and pond. If you are lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse the resident bullfrog! This serene space is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea.
As you continue to explore, keep your eyes out for the ornate iron garden sculptures nestled throughout the property. Look for butterflies and bees in the border garden and listen to the bullfrogs in the lower pond.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Tip from Larry:
“My main advice is to be patient and if something doesn’t work the first time, try something different. Gardening is kind of a journey with a loosely identified ending point.”