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A New Face for the Formal Gardens

Tom Pellett
Tom Pellett demonstrates the correct placement for an autumn fern.

Overton Park’s formal gardens have been getting a little TLC recently.

Thanks to a generous donor, the Overton Park Conservancy was able to purchase some new plants for the flowerbeds, which hadn’t received much attention for a while.  We were also thrilled to work with local landscape designer Tom Pellett, who donated his services in developing a planting scheme for the gardens.  His goal was to add more perennial, native plants so that the gardens will develop a structure over the next few years.  This will decrease the need for replanting, and it will reduce water use and overall maintenance requirements.

On Saturday, October 27, Tom supervised more than a dozen volunteers as they installed the new plants and transplanted others to locations where they would better thrive.  Tom’s design allows the garden to be attractive in multiple seasons, with daffodils offering cheer in the spring and hostas blooming throughout the summer.  The purple, blue, and white hostas will complement the white-blooming “Sarah’s Favorite” crape myrtle trees, whose leaves are currently providing beautiful fall color.

Among the plants featured in the formal gardens are:

  • Three kinds of hostas, “diamond tiara,” “royal standard,” and “blue angel”
  • Variegated solomon’s seal
  • Lenten rose
  • Stella D’Oro daylilies
  • Autumn ferns
  • Ornamental grasses, including mondo grass and variegated monkey grass

The palm tree in the center of the gardens was removed since it wouldn’t have survived the winter.  (One of our landscapers relocated it to Dauphin Island, AL on his vacation this weekend!)  It was replaced with a camellia, a small, evergreen tree that grows rapidly and has showy blossoms.

You can get a first glimpse of the new-look formal gardens next weekend at A Magical Night at Overton Park, an event whose proceeds benefit another Overton Park Conservancy project, the renovation of the Rainbow Lake Playground.

Overton Park Conservancy volunteers

(Psst…you can check out more photos in this Facebook album!)