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In the Landscape of… Judy Ireland

May 24, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

This program is the first of two site visits to the private landscapes of veteran RIWPS members.  These visits are open to members only, as a special thanks for their support and in many cases, countless volunteer hours.  Our first visit is to the garden of Judy Ireland, known at RIWPS for her work on the award winning native plant exhibits at the RI Flower Show.

Judy Ireland, a Landscape Architect, has spent 35 years transforming the three-quarter acre lawn that once surrounded her ranch-style house in a suburb of North Kingstown. It has become a diverse landscape of both native and non-native trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns, bulbs, and groundcovers, offering seasonal interest from early spring through late fall.

The semi-secluded front yard is designed to allow views to and from the street. With its white pines, oaks, Japanese maples, oak leaf hydrangeas and boxwood, as well as perennials, ferns and groundcovers, this front garden is a graceful addition to the neighborhood, but offers no hint of the multi-faceted rolling landscape that lies behind the house and fenced backyard.

Here, the focal point back lawn is surrounded by a carpet of bulbs, ferns and groundcovers flourishing beneath tall white pines, silverbell, and crabapple. Pink snowbell and Japanese maple, graceful understory trees, complete the canopy that sets off deciduous and evergreen shrubs and shade-loving perennials, as well as hidden vignettes, discovered along the winding paths.

Where a vegetable garden once flourished, Judy created a woodland and naturalistic pond, which overflows into a bog. Royal fern, skunk cabbage and marsh marigold surround the pond, whose minnows and frogs attract the occasional heron. White pines provide the backbone for this created woodland, which features many natives, including birch, sassafras, hawthorn, shad, summersweet, blueberry, viburnum, mountain laurel, ferns and early spring ephemerals, such as bloodroot, Dutchman’s breeches, Virginia bluebells and red trillium.

Banks of sun and shade-loving perennials now ramble amid lichened granite boulders and a bronze statue in the terraced ground where Judy’s grandchildren once played in an above-ground pool.

Visitors will gather in the front yard and be given time to explore, before Judy guides them through the house, to view her hidden paradise from the back kitchen, where windows have been angled to offer three different views of the garden.

As part of this visit Judy will share how she developed the design of this landscape over the years, why she chose certain plants, the problems she faced with invasive species, as well as her philosophy and approach to developing a unique garden.

“Our gardens are extensions of ourselves,” she says. “So express yourself, deeply, in creating your own garden.”

Rain Date:  May 25
Fee: $10.00
There is a limit of 12 persons for this program. We recommend you register early.

Note:  A few days before the site visit registrants will be sent an e mail with the directions for this site visit.

Advance Registration Required


May 24, 2017
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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