From Margaret Everton on June 28, 2010 in St. Louis
Any nature-lover will agree with the statement that the main feature of a home isnt the inside design as much as it is the outside landscaping. One St. Louis couple agrees with this assessment wholeheartedly. The central feature of their home is the yard space, which is a verdant display of hollies, evergreens, topiaries, and boxwoods. It didnt happen by accident, and it doesnt stay beautifully manicured on its own. It takes worka lot of it. For Schwartztrauber and Miller, the homes garden-design savants, it was part experimentation, part creative genius, part past experience, and several parts hard work. The first season, they experimented with an effusion of flowers. When some of the flowers didnt provide the clean-edge look they were going for, they decided to install some shrubbery, too. The evergreen shrubs worked great in the shade, and along with the hollies, added a year-round green to the yard. Topiary designsmostly ball-shapedadded interest and variety. In the summer, the yard comes alive with redbuds, jasmine, lilies, catmint, ladys mantle, daffodils, viburnums, catnip, hydrangeas, and who-knows-what-else. Thought it sounds like a horticultural recipe for mass confusion, the green-thumbed couple actually has a penchant for design and order. Just a few different colors, straight rows, orderly trimming, and a structured look characterize the garden year-round. Its not just for visual appeal that they worked so hard to have a garden like they do. Its edible, too. The herb garden gets pride of place in the sunniest portion of the yard. Here is where Schwartztrauber plants sage-a-plenty. They even have a mini-orchard. Small apple trees, peach trees, blackberries, and blueberries are clustered at one end of the lot. Also growing here are garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a medley of other vegetables. Its the quintessential combination of all the best elements in a gardenlots of green, lots of beauty, lots of variety, and even lots of food.