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Neels Garden, 1992-2012

Landscape designer:
Neels, Carl
Founders Garden Club of Dallas
Physical description:
1 folder+ 9 35 mm slides (photographs); 3 photographic prints
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Texas, Dallas
Neels Garden (Dallas, Texas)
Established in 1974, this Highland Park garden was modeled after an eighteenth-century English cottage garden. A longtime landscaper and garden designer in Dallas, the Carl Neels transformed the small flat 60 by 129 foot plot beginning with no trace of a garden into a lush landscape offering colorful displays in every season. The addition of two feet to the soil level at one corner, and building steps up to an elliptical lawn gave greater dimension to the landscape, and the appearance of a larger garden was achieved by creating sight lines which run diagonally from corner to corner. Features include a parterre, a pond, a cloister, and a woodland area, as well as various focal points provided by garden sculptures and outdoor furniture. In addition to creating a serene retreat in the naturalistic garden rooms at the back of the residence, the owner maintains the beds at the front of the property and public easements around his home, offering lovely garden views to members of the local community to enjoy as they pass by on their daily activities.
Maximizing the respite from the heat of summer, the garden is design to be enjoyed particularly in winter. It features over twenty varieties of arborvitae, and chamaecyparis, Japanese maple, juniper, cedars and over fifteen other evergreens serve as a year-round backdrop and provide winter interest. Plantings such as violets, lavender, stock, cyclamen, and white heath offer additional color in cooler months. In summer impatiens and begonia thrive in the regions of the garden dominated by wet soil, and in drier parts of the garden marigolds, periwinkles, salvia, ageratum and blue haze provide quick carpets of color. The owner has a particular fondness for perennials and has found lythrums, Coreopsis verticillata, coneflowers, peachleaf bellflower, and Achillea ptarmica to consistently perform well in the Texan summer.
Persons associated with the garden include: Emmy Hill (former owner, 1952-1984); Carl Neels (landscape designer, 1974-present; and owner,1984- present).
The folder includes worksheets and articles.
This garden is featured in The American man's garden by Rosemary Verey and Katherine Lambert, Boston: Little, Brown, 1990; "True Brit," by Gregory Waldrop, photography by Lydia Cutter, in Dallas-Fort Worth Home & Garden, September 1985, pp. 48-53, and cover; "The cottage on Lovers Lane," by Clare Miers, in The Dallas Morning News, Sunday, May 8, 2011; and in "The cottage that stops traffic," by Clare Miers for the Dallas Morning News Sunday Edition, available for viewing on YouTube
Cottage gardens
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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