The Garden on Eden

With a caring hand and a sensitive feel for seasonal bounty, a determined gardener transforms an unruly wooded lot into a private paradise of ever-changing light, color and texture



Photograph by Robert Preston

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Victoria Preston believes gardens are gifts to the spirit. When tended with constant care, a gentle hand and plenty of heart, they provide sanctuary and offer inspiration to other gardeners.

A soft-spoken and assured garden designer, Victoria has quietly spent the better part of the past ten years creating a year-round utopia of light and shade filled with lush trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns and bulbs. All together, these create a lively natural landscape that frames her home on Eden Road with color, texture and form.

No matter the season, Victoria encourages visitors to stroll through her various gardens by way of a stepping stone pathway that winds through the abundance displayed around the house. Many are the opportunities to pause and reflect by the vistas she has created.
An all-season bed in the front lawn features a Japanese fern, Japanese forest grasses, hosta, a Golden Full Moon maple, rocks and a miniature evergreen, evoking a strong Asian influence with emphasis on texture and form designed to remain colorful all year long.

Flowering pink echinaceas, blood grasses and sedums that reflect an array of fiery reds and tangerine oranges brighten a nearby autumn and winter bed. “Autumn is all about color, less so about texture,” says Victoria. “Every autumn I gladly transform my garden into a bonfire.”

Shadbushes and Stewartia trees in the same bed add penetrating structure for winter. “Winter is also an opportunity to consider incorporating nonorganic accessories, such as birdbaths, benches, statuary or sculpture that add dimension to the stark landscape. For me, color afforded by the sun catchers brightens an otherwise neutral palette.”

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