United States of America, Mississippi, Hinds County, Jackson
Swan Lake (Jackson, Mississippi)
Located on two acres in Jackson, Mississippi, this home and garden was built in 1988. Less than a mile from the Pearl River, the land was part of the swampland and floodplain along the river. A developer formed the two acre home site creating a lake in the process.
Landscape architect, Gary Graves, hoped to create a pastoral approach from the street. The front lawn is surrounded by a Dwarf Burford Holly punctuated by Easter Red Cedar on the corners. The intent was to separate the residence from the street and to create the feeling of depth. Street access to the front door occurs through an alee of Natchez Crape Myrtle and pair of Drake Elm trees along a beautiful herringbone pattern brick walk. A parallel row of Japanese Boxwood on each side of the walk frames a changing set of annuals and perennials to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Walking between two cedar trees, one enters a garden in which over a hundred different perennials, annuals, bulbs, roses, herbs spill over on the brick paths interspersed with moss. Vines of Evergreen wisteria, honeysuckle, and antique roses cover the white metal arch and picket fence. Three columnar junipers frame the view of the lake.
In 1990, English gardener Rita Hall helped the owner select plants grown in England that would thrive in her Mississippi garden inside the fence and trellis area designed by landscape architect Susan Case. Selecting the flowers is a continuous changing process that is evaluated every season. Iris, snapdragons, hydrangeas, feverfew, and roses frame the brick walkway and wall that lead from the English garden to the south side of the residence and terrace that runs the length of the back of the house.
The backyard's steep descent toward the lake was transformed using a tiered series of wooden stairs and decks which was added in 2003, designed by Gary Graves. This four level decking system allows level areas for plantings, entertaining and relaxing. Three parterres between the decks including a knot garden are planted with Japanese boxwood, antique roses, herbs, annuals, bulbs and bordered by with hundreds of Knockout roses and Shi Shi Camellias. Three water-jets splash in the lake creating the soothing sound of waterfalls.
Following the brick walkway from the perennial garden past the decking that runs the length of the back brick porch, past huge pots of rosemary outside the kitchen, one enters a courtyard through a white metal arch. Chinese Wisteria and antique roses cover the arch and frame an intimate space used for dining. Such details as a fountain, statue, benches, hydrangeas and huge white urns filled with impatiens or snapdragons and pansies await visitors. The brick path continues to a small herb and vegetable garden which leads to a white gate where wild grape vines and blueberry bushes grow.
Swan Lake continues to evolve, change and delight those who live and visit here. The owners continue to dream of other garden possibilities, a children's garden, fruit orchards, organic gardens and more.
Persons associated with the property include: Barry Fox (architect, 1986-1988), Garry R. Graves (landscape architect, 1992-present), Rita Hall (garden consultant, 1990-1994).
This folder includes worksheets, site plans, photocopies of articles about the project, and other information.
This property was featured in "Rooms with a View", Mississippi Magazine, March/April 2007; "Pastel Palette", Mississippi Magazine, May/June 1996; "Gardens as Outdoor Rooms", Mississippi Magazine, March/April 1993; "Swan Lake", Northeast Ledger, September 24, 2008; "No Place Like Home", VIP Jackson Magazine, May 2005; "Bloomin' Miracle", Southern Style, Friday, September 24, 1993; "The Glory of Gardens", Southern Style, Tuesday, May 2, 2006