Looking at the garden at 59 North Wightman St., you would think a person who loves color and possibly an artist lives there. You would be correct on both fronts.
Patti Browning has been living and gardening here since July 2008. Hers is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for July 2017. She has changed more than 75 percent of the garden in those nine years. The biggest trees and the wisteria are in their original locations. Browning removed lawns front and back to achieve more planting area for blooming plants.
Patti loves to design gardens, or “co-create with nature,” as she puts it. She likes to be intuitive, with paths and borders that meander. She says that “magic happens when you look beneath the way the way things appear to be.”
Browning has taken no horticulture classes but has been gardening since her early 20s. Color is most important to her, and very specific shades of color are critical to her aesthetic. She likes the garden to be harmonious, but with bright accents. She gets regular help with maintenance from Mariano Chavez who, by chance, left his business card for her to discover on the day she moved in. She calls him her “garden angel.” She adheres to principals of feng shui, plus does all she can to encourage birds.
Violas and pansies, along with lobelia, dominate the front garden for much of the year. Azaleas and rhododendrons provide bright seasonal color. Japanese maples, cherry and plum trees in the back, roses, nandina, rock roses, chrysanthemum, ferns camellias, lilac, gaura, peonies, shasta daisies, daylillies and euphorbia are among the many blooming plants. Climbers, in addition to the wisteria, include clematis and a Cecile Bruner rose.
A pond graces the side yard. In addition to the gorgeous plants, there are many sculptures, including Buddha, Quan Yin, a Madonna, a cherub, and a fabulous lizard. Colorful pennants add to the beauty.
The Ashland Garden Club has been selecting Gardens of the Month, from April through September, since 2000. Nominations are gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the club’s website at ashlandorgardenclub.wordpress.com or come to the meetings at 12:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month, October through May, at the Community Center on Winburn Way.