Gardening Around a Historic Home

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Today we’re visiting with Sid Raisch.

We garden at the historic Dawson House in Hillsboro, Ohio. Our family moved to this 1890s home eleven years ago. There was really no historically significant landscape here then. There were some overgrown badly placed yews (Taxus sp., Zones 5–9), some rather poor white lilacs (Syringa vularis, Zones 3–7), and a half-dozen aged sugar maples (Acer saccharum, Zones 3–8) from the original landscape that had been poorly pruned and were suffering wounds and aged condition. Previous owners made some efforts with new plantings that became part of the current garden whether transplanted or encouraged to flourish in place. Over our time we’ve lost several of the original big maples and have planted many new futures with scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea, Zones 4–9), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum, Zones 4–9), copper beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’, Zones 4–7), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua, Zones 5–9), and more.

Mass of purple irises in front of a grey houseThe showcase planting of Siberian iris ‘Caesar’s Brother’ (Iris siberica ‘Caesar’s Brother’, Zones 3–8) was divided from six mature clumps previous owners had placed in a bed in the dead center of the backyard, where we wished to reclaim play space for our young boys.

Purple irises in front of a grey houseAnother view of the big sweep of Iris Caesar’s Brother’ includes the historic house behind.

Looking out a window surrouded by stained glass to show a mass planting of lavender plantsA big planting of lavender (Lavandula × intermedia ‘Phenomenal’, Zones 5–9) has replaced an unused, sloped side lawn.

Mass planting of lavender next to a grey houseAnother view of the mass lavender planting.

A grey urn with a stack of orange and black squash in itWe are constantly updating the Urn Garden, always striving for a spectacular showing! Here it features a stack of fall squash, with ornamental red-leaved cotton (Gossypium hirsutum, annual).

A plant with very large dark green leaves growing in an urnAnd here is the urn featuring a large Philodendron (tropical or as a houseplant) for a dramatic tropical feel.

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