[Ms] The Marquis Garden

2904 Wakefield Dr. , Blacksburg

Kristen and Andrea Marquis

The Marquis family has been at their property for four years and were attracted by the existing landscape design and peacefulness. They love aquaculture and their favorite feature is the pond and the interaction between the fish and the plants. Tending to the pond’s plant life is a unique experience and they say you must be willing to get in the water and “play in the muck.”

Kristen and Andrea haven’t shopped for plants since they have been there and prefer swapping instead of buying. Because the backyard is predominantly shady and they want to introduce more color, more plants may be ordered in the future. The most unusual plants are the giant peonies whose blooms can get up to about 10 inches across.  Some existing plants such as bamboo and burning bush may not be selected for landscaping today, but they provide color and interest.

Shredded leaves are used for mulch. They say that although the leaves don’t suppress weeds as well when shredded, they break down into beautiful humus. Although not doing it here yet, Mr. Marquis used to use vermiculture and offer workshops on it. According to growingspaces.com, “vermiculture, also known as worm composting or vermicomposting, uses worms to convert organic waste into nutrient-rich compost for plants. This is a great way to reduce waste, improve soil health, and create a sustainable gardening practice.” Also not currently being used, the previous owner had an irrigation system, but the Marquises plan on installing a rain-collecting system that will gravity feed the area. Erosion control is managed by layering plants and Kristen says that root systems work better than other methods and he loves ground covers of all kinds.

Although their favorite feature is the pond with nearby patio, walking around the yard provides much pleasure. The newest feature is the driveway expansion. The original driveway was too steep so a new one was mapped out. This new plan required that a few plants had to be removed, but other areas were expanded, and lawn was almost exclusively eliminated.

Click on the slideshow to see the full-size photos

All photos (C) Charles Bostian