[My] The Mattingly Garden

2107 Glade Rd., Blacksburg

Susan and Kelly Mattingly

Built in 1906, the house at Maple Spring Farm was named for a spring that emerges at the base of an ancient Sugar Maple. Other maple trees and perennials that existed when the Mattinglys moved there in 2002 help to provide the property’s good bones. Over the years, they have done as many gardeners do, editing and expanding the landscape, for its benefit and theirs as well.

Since 2002, they have worked in several areas: gardens, pond, and hardscapes. They replaced the front lawn with a cottage garden and planted a kitchen garden on the east side of the old grape arbor. They also created a woodland garden on the west side of the property. The pond is a major feature, and they established a low maintenance bed on the steep, north side as well as added an informal path through the woods on the south side. Beauty and practicality were added with the creation of a pergola in 2021 and installation of a large solar array on the west side of the property.

Susan and Kelly have dealt with challenges of maintaining a five-acre parcel such as losing a dozen trees following the 2012 derecho and dealing with invasive species, to finding the time and energy to accomplish all their landscape visions. It has been, and continues to be, a labor of love and a team effort. Kelly does most of the heavy lifting and building, and Susan does the design (with help from Juneberry Gardens) and planting. They also rely heavily on the volunteers from Virginia Tech’s “Big Event” and accept the native plants that spring up and make themselves at home in the garden. They say that their home is a source of joy and very much their “happy place.”

All photos (C) Charles Bostian