United States of America, Mississippi, Jones, Laurel
Jefcoat Garden (Laurel, Mississippi)
Earlier gardens for the 1929 brick house were in ruins and overgrown when the current owners began work on the 1.6 acre property in 1995. Ten years later their landscaping and design visions were realized in a stroll garden in a park-like setting with old trees, dense green hedges delineating borders, drifts of flowering camellias and jasmine, fresh St. Augustine grass, and concrete farm troughs repurposed as fountains and plant containers. Hurricane Katrina swept through in August 2010 uprooting all of the trees in back of the house and smashing some of the hedges. The new plan called for more dense plantings of hedges for privacy, including firs, hollies, magnolias, camellias and privet. A shade garden that had lilies, hostas, hydrangeas and ferns lost its protective oak tree and was replanted with indigenous grasses with coral-bark and Japanese maples. A pergola covered with Confederate jasmine at the entrance to the garden from the parking area survived the storm and is completely encased in flowering vines. A secret moss garden with repurposed paving stones used for a wall and terrace became a ruins garden after winter weather caused the stones to crack.
Jefcoat Garden was inspired by European gardens including the Villa d'Este-Tivoli in Italy and late 18th and early 19th century French and English gardens. Contemporary influences include Piet Oudolf's use of ornamental grasses and Luis Barragan's concrete garden designs. Two containers on the back terrace hold shrubs from Mississippi writers' gardens that the owners have helped restore: a camellia from Eudora Welty's garden and a gardenia from William Faulkner's landscape at Rowan Oak.
Persons associated with the garden include J. Lowery Collins (former owner, 1929); Eugene Bush (former owner, 1950s); and Edward L. Blake, Jr. (landscape designer, 1995-2005, consultant 2005-2010).
The folder includes worksheets and other documentation.
This property is featured in Leading Residential Landscape Professionals, published by Sandow Media Corporation in 2006, pp. 168-170