[W] The Wilder Garden

3009 Wakefield Dr., Blacksburg

Paula and Ed Wilder

Paula and Ed Wilder have been on Wakefield Drive for 30 years and started gardens here from scratch. The Wilders said they have used some designers, but most of the inspiration has come from gardens visited in that timeframe.

Over the years, Ed has become enamored with the varieties of boxwood. They provide a solid backdrop against which other plants find their place. His favorite tree is his Katsura which is at least 30 years old.

Maintenance has become an important issue and the plants seem to be fairly drought resistant as he only waters in drought conditions and then usually only the grass. He uses hardwood mulch and composts some. The lot is sloped, and the driveway runoff is managed by a concrete swale installed in the driveway as well as a dry-creek stone runoff which flows into the woods. Like many local gardeners, voles can be an issue and no solution has been found.

Though the newer plantings of euphorbia and calamint are of interest, the low-maintenance theme continues with hostas whose variety and ease of care have made them positive choices.

In many ways you might call this a COVID garden. Over the past three years much effort has gone into removal of old plants that no longer worked, and re-design and re-installation. The latest addition is the patio under the deck. The over-arching goal in recent years has been, and continues to be, to create a garden that is increasingly maintenance-free.

Click on the slideshow to see the full-size photos

All photos (C) Charles Bostian