Maintain a Southern-style shade garden on the one-acre grounds surrounding their 1905 house, which has been in Joe’s family for more than four decades.
What they did:
In the mid 1970s, Joe’s parents worked with a landscape design team from Memphis to develop a garden full of regional favorites that would thrive in eastern Arkansas. When Joe and Martha inherited the home, they took on the task of maintaining the garden and making it feel fresh and lush for the next decade of use.
They began their gardening education, seeking the advice of horticultural experts, arborists and irrigation specialists, with Martha achieving master gardener status along the way. Now, they tend a thriving mix of plants that offer year-round interest. “With the four distinct growing seasons in Arkansas, there’s always something for us to appreciate,” says Joe.
The biggest challenge:
Irrigation. “Getting the right amount of water to the grass, trees, plants and shrubs, especially during the hot summer months, meant we were constantly dragging and moving hoses,” says Joe. They invested in an irrigation system and claim that the more efficient delivery of water to the garden makes the purchase “the smartest money we ever invested,” says Joe.
Their favorite part:
The Dooleys concur that sitting on the back porch, overlooking the patio and grounds, and watching birds feeding and singing, is as good as it gets.
What the judges loved:
Daniel Keeley liked the fact that the overall garden design included a variety of defined destinations. Tobi Fairley was smitten with the strong showing of spring daffodils, and Sandy Sutton lauded the garden’s Southern hospitality. Phil Purifoy agreed that the brick patio looked like an inviting spot to sip coffee and read the newspaper in the morning.
Lawn care Premier Lawn Care, Wynne
Irrigation May Landscape & Irrigation, Parkin
Tree service Dickey Tree Service, Hoxie