While Frank enjoys the garden—despite his allergies—Paul admits he is the green thumb in the relationship.
"It's a passion; I wouldn't say it's a religion, but not far from it," Paul explained. His passion was part of the reason they choose their current home. "We chose Guilford was because it has a country feel, the neighborhood has mature trees and despite being close to the city feels like we're way out in the country."
"We grow everything—perennials, annual, vegetables." While he prefers a free-formed approach for flowers, vegetables require a different skill set. "Vegetables are more structured and formal, which is different for me. The nice thing is that you can be as elaborate as you want—or not."
They enjoy acquiring new and unique plants, and were currently planning a visit to Ladew Topiary Gardens to check out plants not normally found in local garden stores. "I think it's a compliment when you see something in someone else's garden that you replicate in your own."
Paul's advice to new gardeners? "Don't be afraid. The worst thing that can happen is that it will die, and when winter comes everything dies anyway. I'd also recommend buying small. Smaller, cheaper plants can be easier to keep alive. Also be patient." Common sense comes into play as well: "We have a fenced-in yard for our dogs; we have to think ahead about where to plant and about what they won't trample." ■