United States of America, Kansas, Douglas, Lawrence
Reed and Stacey Dillon Residence (Lawrence, Kansas)
The gardens were designed for the five acre site chosen by the landscape architect (also the owner) before the contemporary Tuscan style house was built in 1998, and nearly all of the mature native black locust, Osage orange and elm trees were left in place. Chosen for its rolling hills with lower elevations protected from the wind, the gardens include a formal courtyard, a nine-square fruit orchard screened by blue spruce, a formal parterre garden with a rustic pergola made of Osage orange limbs, a more extensive border garden surrounding a large fountain, a rustic treehouse also built from Osage orange limbs, a stream bed with a water garden, and a swimming pool garden. Across the stream there is a meadow planted with swaths of native wildflowers, grass and trees. The native limestone walkways and steps have creeping and culinary thyme planted in the cracks to soften the look of the new stones and to add fragrance. There is a low dry stone wall in the meadow that was built to stage a son's wedding on the property.
Many garden features are antique or unique, collected by the owners for themselves or for clients. The large fountain is set in an antique iron clamshell, the cast iron containers in the courtyard planted with colorful annuals and the ornate wrought iron gates are antiques, and there is a faux bois patio table and chairs from the 1930s. The waterfall that feeds the swimming pool, installed in 2007, cascades over the large cast iron lid from an industrial autoclave once used for curing concrete. The stream bed on the property was dry but was engineered to carry water from a pond adjacent to the property. The sounds of the water features unify each part of the garden, according to the owners.
The gardens are planted to provide blooms for nine months of the year, starting with swaths of daffodils and Spanish bluebells in the meadow and blue and white hyacinths in the fruit orchard's raised beds. Dogwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons, peonies, magnolias and fruit trees bloom in spring, with clematis, roses, oriental and day lilies, and hyacinths following in summer, and the changing leaves on the trees in autumn. Water gardens in the stream bed include yellow flag iris and mysotis and in the large fountain lotuses, water lilies and water hyacinths.
Persons associated with the garden include Reed Dillon (landscape architect, 1998- ); Kurt C. Aichler (architect, 1995-1998).
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of articles.
Garden has been featured in "Coming Home" by Inger Skaarup published in Kansas City Home Design, July 2002, pp. 50-62; "Gardens of the Year" published in KCH&G, October 2012, p.68; "A Landscaper's Own" by Veronica Toney, published in KCH&G, March/April 2013, pp. 65-69