Renovating the exterior of a 1953 contemporary house opened up a
multitude of landscape and gardening possibilities for Joe Kresl and
his wife, Jennifer. By replacing a gravel driveway with Belden brick
and converting a side door into the front entrance, Kresl, the owner
of Hawks Nursery, was able to create a lush private enclave that
supports rather than conflicts with the exterior. "The home
design needed to be complemented by the plants, not fight with
it," he explains. Plant selections avoid the traditional.
"No one would mistake it for a cottage garden," adds Kresl.
The Kresl home is situated on a one-acre lot in Elm Grove,
one-third of which is woods with the remaining two-thirds open space.
The lot came with many mature trees and Kresl has added to the mix.
The property currently contains 40 varieties of trees including an
unusual twisted filbert, a black cherry and an ironwood.
You’d think that after working with plants all day gardening
would be the last thing Kresl would want to do when he came home. But
it seems his green thumb is on steroids. "It’s therapy,"
explains Kresl. "Going home and watching your own garden grow is
a great escape. It becomes a passion."
blue heron that overlooks a pond with an adjustable water jet
actually acts as a decoy, keeping the real birds from lunching
on Kresls’ koi. The pond features a biological filter along
with ultraviolet light to kill algae. The use of containers
helps reduce the amount of weeding while adding shots of color
bluestone path edged with natural clay bricks practically
invites a stroll. The walk and a bark mulch path leading through
the woods allow the Kresls a chance to commune with nature. This
lush woodland is punctuated with pots that include
brightly-colored annuals as accents. Following the rules of
container design, each pot contains a tall thriller, a colorful
filler and a graceful spiller. A weathered teak bench represents
one of the seating areas. Night lighting illuminates the path to
the front door.