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Good neighbors make great gardens in Goffstown
Terri McKinnon walks along a path through perennials in the yard in Goffstown. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
In fact, my neighbors’ perennial gardens were created not because of, but mostly in spite of me. That’s because I advise people to avoid perennials (in most cases) because they’re too much work—trees and shrubs require much less maintenance.
Both gardens illustrate this important idea: Grass is a high-maintenance ground cover — but also one of the few that can be walked on. Use it only when you need a ground cover that can tolerate foot traffic—for a path, play area, etc. But when grass is purely ornamental—when all you do is look at it and mow it—replace it with more colorful, more interesting and less demanding plants.
The openings are part of the Garden Conservancy’s national Open Days Program, which raises funds to restore and preserve outstanding private gardens across the country and open them to the public, usually as non-profit organizations. One of its first projects was the Fells, on Lake Sunapee in Newbury, which was the summer estate of John Hay, secretary of state under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
This year, however, the Conservancy consented to include three smaller gardens—including the Hoopers’ and the McKinnons’—in its Merrimack Valley program, and is charging a special fee of just $30 to see all seven landscapes.
• The extensive Asian-inspired landscape of Lane Johnson, at 133 Baptist Road in Canterbury.
• Tiffany Gardens, at 15 King John Drive in Londonderry, where grass paths wind among well-designed planting islands, many of them sweeps of perennials with tree or shrub accents.
• The gardens of June Scott, at 21 Nancy Lane in Bedford, whose centerpiece is a large, free-form swimming pool and which includes an extensive collection of perennials and shrubs. It’s on the Open Days program for the first time this year.
For more information, including directions, visit www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays. Or call the Conservancy, toll-free, at 888-842-2442
Robert Gillmore’s books include “The Woodland Garden” and “Beauty All Around You: How to Create Large Private Low-Maintenance Gardens, Even on Small Lots and Small Budgets.”
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