Garden Tour 2021: Garden #3
Lisa’s love for plants and gardening is very much a part of her daily life, even in the winter. Her passion began at their previous home, where they lived for twenty years. After raising four children, she began to pursue her interests further by completing the Master Gardener certification and volunteer work at Phipp’s Conservatory.
This is the third summer that her and her husband Mark have lived at their home in Upper St. Clair, and they had the landscape completely redone when they moved there. The only plants that they left were a large oak tree in the front, a large maple in the backyard, a magnolia by the pool, and three rhododendrons in the backyard. Everything else was brand new.
Of course in our area, clay soil is a challenge. When redoing the existing landscape they pulled out the old plants, regraded the yard, and added plenty of healthy soil. This is a key tip when investing in a new landscape. You must build a healthy foundation so that the plants will thrive.
Some of the purposes and functions of Lisa and Mark’s gardens include– to delight the senses through colorful and fragrant flowers; to provide a peaceful space for relaxing and gathering with family and friends; and growing their own food with a vegetable garden. When asked what she loves most about her garden space, Lisa says, “I love the beauty of it! I never tire of waling through the garden in the morning and early evening. I love the different stages it goes through. I love working in it. And I love that I am always learning something new.”
There is plenty of seating around the property to sit and admire the surroundings, including soft music from wireless speakers and the water fountain. Most of the plants are for sun, as there aren’t many shady areas of the garden, and include many varieties of hydrangeas, dahlias, roses, hibiscus, geraniums, gerbera daisies, and an entire citrus collection.
We didn’t get a final count, but Lisa has a LOT of container gardens. In the courtyard area there are large window boxes that she changes out seasonally. They can be enjoyed from both inside and outside the home.
In June 2020, Lisa and Mark installed a greenhouse. As you pull up their driveway, it’s one of the first things you see. It matches beautifully with their Victorian house. The greenhouse allows Lisa to overwinter many of her annuals and houseplants. She also can keep her citrus collection year-to-year, which includes a rangpur lime, persian lime, meyer lemon, key lime, variegated pink lemon, calamondin orange and navel orange. Mostly everything gets moved out of the greenhouse for summer, and then moved back in for the winter.
There was so much to see and admire at Lisa and Mark’s home, inside and out. They’ve truly created a welcoming and relaxing place to visit. There are so many special touches everywhere, from the large groupings of container gardens, the window boxes, the music coming from outdoor speakers, the baker’s rack of indoor plants, the greenhouse, and a personalized craft cocktail menu at Mark’s bar. I could have lingered there much longer than I had time to. Thanks to Lisa and Mark for the wonderful tour and inspiration!