Barton-Graves Lawn Care
The Barton-Graves House lawn is seeded with a hybrid Bermuda grass that is over-seeded with perennial Rye grass in mid-September. The perennial Rye lasts until the first of June when the transition is made back to the hybrid Bermuda grass.
The Pearlbush, located just in front of the home’s sunroom window, is a spring bloomer and named for the unique shape of the flower bud. Several large American Holly are clustered across the entrance path from the Pearlbush, and extending along the northwest side of the lawn are several examples of Elaeagnus with their distinctive green leaves that are undercoated with a rich russet brown.
Examples of the delicate Bridal Veil Bush are located on the northwest side of the front lawn as well as near the drive exiting the property, and several of the native Dogwood trees that were brought from the Graves family farms when the house was constructed in the early 1920s still grace the side and back lawn.
Another noteworthy tree, located in the southwest corner of the front lawn, is the Blue China Fir. Planted when the lawn was first landscaped, this conifer continues to be a fine specimen. The Blue China Fir can grow to be as tall as 40 feet, and its leaves remain green for five or more years before shedding. The blue-green evergreen is known for its lightness, durability, and resistance to termites.
A seasonal favorite are the diminutive, native Lady Slipper Orchids and Mayflowers that peak from under the Blue China Fir Tree, providing spots of color in this shady corner of the lawn.
The front terrace steps of the Barton-Graves House are flanked by large white Natchez Crepe Myrtles accompanied by American Boxwoods and a lower tier of the darker green Helleri Holly that produce a small greenish white flower each spring. Helleri Holly also flank the parking pad at the entrance drive.
White Geraniums are strategically placed throughout the gardens, offering a crisp contract to the lush green backdrop.
Mrs. Graves planted several varieties of Camellias that adorn the drive and along the side of the Carriage House. Other plants she added to her garden include the Ligustrum Hedge along the perimeter of the property and the abundant Forsythia of which she was known to share with a multitude of families in Wilson.
A small grove of Pecan Trees graces the southeast side of the Barton-Graves House, offering ample shade for a variety of spring and fall picnic events.
Columbine and Iris, gifts of Mrs. Teenie Stronach of Wilson, as well as Gerbera Daisies and Black-Eyed Susans provide bright punches of color in the back lawn gardens.
The Blue and White Garden, located near the rear driveway, showcases a blue Butterfly Bush, blue Hydrangea, and white Daisies. In fall and winter, blue and white Pansies are bountiful in blue ceramic planters. In fall 2010, a variety of flowering bulbs from the Old House Gardens in Michigan were added to the Blue and White Garden. These bulbs include Spanish Bluebell, 1906; the double Daffodil named Daphne, 1914; Turkish Glory of-the Snow, 1883; and the white Daffodil named Thalia, 1916. Note that these dates refer to the age of when these bulbs were first planted for gardens.
Additional Pansies, in a wide variety of color, are planted in the gardens behind the Barton-Graves House each October, along with a multitude of bulbs including: Tulips, Jonquils, Daffodils, and Iris. Over 700 bulbs have been planted in the gardens.
The Harold Ladwig family of Wilson generously donated the vibrant red azaleas that bank the border lawn beside the Carriage House. Nearby, an arbor, canopied with the ebullient yellow Lady Banks Roses, welcomes visitors walking from the Barton-Graves House to the back lawn garden, better known as the Ladwig Garden.
The Ladwig Garden extends across upper and lower terraces. Among the upper terrace plantings is the distinctive Connor Fountain Garden, an English knot garden that includes the tranquil Connor Fountain located on the rear wall of the Carriage House. The Connor Fountain Garden includes white Camellia Sasanqua and frost proof white Gardenia. And, Quince complements the four flowering Apricot trees that flank the corners of the Carriage House. Along the side of the Carriage House (street side), there are white Wedding Gown Hydrangeas among the Camellias, as well as Baptisia, Veronica, Heucherella, and Goat’s Beard plantings.