The Garden Club of DeLand recognizes Vicky Shanley's Florida friendly cottage style garden as September's Garden of the Month. This well maintained garden surrounding this 1923 craftsman bungalow style home located at 223 S. Salisbury Avenue, has been evolving since purchased in 2010. All turf grass has been removed and replaced by lush plantings, coquina shell pathways, and raised bed planters. A self described “lazy gardener”, Vicky's garden concept included a low maintenance yard with Florida native plants, which would live and self seed with no need to be pampered, heavily pruned, repeatedly watered or excessively fertilized. In 2012 she hired local firm Evolving Landscapes LLC. to help bring her vision to life. Ironically, after selecting this local business whose focus mirrored her personal landscape goals, she learned that her home was previously owed by the firm’s landscape architect and owner!
As her garden continued to grow over the course of the past 7 years, several unique features have been added to Ms. Shanley's property to form a cohesive space with points of interest visible from each angle. The front yard faces east behind a low wrought iron fence. On the sunny southern side butterflies flitter in abundance, attracted by dwarf firebush shrubs and purple passionvine. A Zen rock garden planted with succulents and plumeria adds an eclectic touch. The north side receives dappled shade courtesy of a shared tree line with her neighbors. Plantings have been expertly arranged to thrive in the shade here including both Florida native and Florida friendly plants. Ferns, bromeliads, dwarf mondo grass, wild coffee, blueberries, gingers and caladiums bloom and grow, where traditional turf grass once struggled from lack of sufficient sunlight. A seating area nestled under the trees provides a wonderful respite to beat the heat, and enjoy the view.
Entering the backyard through a garden gate, one is again treated to a flurry of butterflies that come to feast on the nectar provided by a variety of flowers planted for their benefit. An extensive coquina shell pathway adds a distinctly Floridian flair and does much to simplify maintenance. In 2018, a stone raised bed with quadrant planters was constructed in a circular pattern. At waist level, Ms. Shanley can tend to and harvest her impressive herb collection with ease. In the center of the circle a single loquat tree provides both tasty fruits in season as well as lovely dark green foliage year round. Ms. Shanley, her family and friends enjoy this backyard oasis from her newly installed paver seating area.
The Garden club of DeLand congratulates Vicky Shanley for her efforts to beautify her corner of our town.
Erin Miceli, Chair
David Diaz, Photographer