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Couples' sun garden has something blooming, green all year long

Aug. 04, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Fran D'Egidio has a secret that keeps his beautiful yard lush and blooming.

He said, "I talk to the flowers in Italian, I tell them 'you don't grow, you go' and it works!," he said.

He went on to explain that his wife Jane is the planner and he is the labor. When asked what he liked best about his garden he said, "Its just like someone asking me what part of Italy I like best. The answer is all of it."

All of it is spectacular and has taken lots of planning and hard work. Jane shed some light on the planning phase of the garden.

"We have only lived here two and a half years, and we have planted the entire garden," she said. "We plant only perennials because we want it to be self-sustaining. We don't want to have to replant each year, and it seems to be working like most of this just came up by itself this year. We did add a few annuals but we won't have to unless we want to do it in the future."

Part of the plan for this sun garden is to have something blooming or green year around. So mixed in the garden are boxwoods and barberry bushes to not only add the constant color but texture as well. Flowers include quite a variety from the hardy black eyed susan to balloons to guara or as Jane calls it the 'wispy butterfly' since the butterflies flock to it. There is the carefree knockout roses and the hybrid hibiscus while tucked underneath are garden flocks and liorope.

The D'Egidios like to have something blooming on all sides of their home so they have planted not only a butterfly bush but oak leaf hydrangea, cone flowers, clematis and mandevilla to enhance the view.

"They take care of themselves," Jane said.

It is a blooming oasis in their corner of the world.

One of the things they did to make gardening a simpler pleasure was to install an irrigation system.

"We didn't want to have to be here all the time to water the flowers, and if we were gone we didn't want to impose on neighbors," Fran said. "So, whether we are here or not, the flowers get watered. You just set the timers and forget it."

Fran feels like it is one of the best things they did for their garden.

Once they did their landscaping, they found they enjoyed the porch so much more. They did have a few problems with the wildlife infringing a bit but have found cures for that for now. Jane pointed out the bricks stacked on ledges under the eaves and said, "that is to keep the birds away. They like nesting there under the porch roof but they make such a mess, we try to discourage them. We love the porch but didn't want to share it with the birds."

They have also had deer munching on their daisies but found a spray that repels them as well.

This lovely yard will be on next year's Junior League garden tour. The second weekend of June is the date set for the tour and if the D'Egidios' garden is any clue to the type of gardens on the tour the Tri-State is in for a real treat. This is worth making a note on next year's calendar -- you don't want to miss it.