The Garden Club of Frankfort has chosen the home of Phil and Pat Huddleston as Frankfort’s House of the Month. Homes are chosen based on outstanding landscape design.
A passion for plants is apparent in every corner of the Huddleston property. Having grown up on farms, they developed a knowledge and understanding of plants at a young age.
Prior to building their home in the Two Creeks subdivision in 2002, Phil and Pat restored several historic homes and enjoy the look and feel of an older home. They wanted their new home, constructed of Kentucky limestone quarried in Rockcastle County and laid by Kentucky masons, to reflect that traditional feeling.
The lawn and garden are designed to enhance the traditional southern style of the house. What makes the landscaping special is not just the plants that surround it, but the memories the lawn and garden hold for the couple. In a place of honor on the back patio is a swing given to Phil and Pat by Phil’s dad.
Heirloom plants from both families are abundant in the yard and include native tall phlox from Phil’s great aunt Turk, Siberian iris from Pat’s mom (Ila’s irises), and yellow evening primrose that they affectionately call “Sammies” from Pat’s dad Sam. An oak tree stands in the back yard that grew from an acorn picked by Pat’s mom in Newport, Rhode Island.
A potted plant, Moses in the Cradle, has a special place on the terrace and comes from a plant Phil’s great aunt Turk dug up and planted 35 years ago. The plant has been divided and shared with many family members.
Flanking the front door are two urns, mementos from a trip to New Orleans. The urns are made of recycled aluminum and are cast in old antebellum molds once used for making urns of iron. The couple uses red and white plants throughout the landscape to complement the beautiful limestone structure of the house. The urns are filled with red mandevilla, spikes and jersey creepers and are stunning against the gray limestone.
A circular drive is accented with boxwoods and the front foundation bed is filled with Asiatic lilies, daylilies, nandinas, China Girl hollies, hostas, irises, wine and rose weigela and Chinese snowball viburnum.
A walk along the back of the house is lined with azaleas and a lovely stone planter filled with red mandavilla, creeping jenny and spikes waiting for you at the end of the walk. This stone planter is on view from the patios and the kitchen window.
A year after moving into the house, they decided to add a large terrace with a flagstone floor and cut stone balustrade. The terrace provides outdoor seating and dining and wonderful views of the trees surrounding the house and a pond in the distance. A fountain sits against a wall and potted plants abound.
A favorite feature is the raised flower bed which curves around the stone stairs leading from the terrace to the side yard with a stone bird bath in the center. This year the bed is planted with brightly colored purslane portulaca.
Another favorite is the patio on the back of the house adjacent to the terrace. The patio floor is constructed of Pennsylvania blue limestone. The terrace and another patio have tables with red umbrellas in keeping with the color scheme.
The patio is a relaxing spot for reading, entertaining, watching blue herons wade in the pond and grandchildren playing croquet in the side yard. More containers grace the patio in colors of red and white. These containers hold a variety of petunias, geraniums, mandevilla, impatiens and herbs.
A table sits on an open patio where Phil and Pat enjoy having meals in the summer. Viewed from the patios, and from inside the kitchen through a large bay window, is a shade garden that holds a variety of plants including ferns, autumn joy sedum and hostas. The shade bed is anchored by a charming birdbath holding bathing blue stone herons. Framing the bay window are pots of red New Guinea impatiens.
As tree lovers, a priority upon completion of the house was the addition of trees. The yard is filled with a variety of carefully selected trees, which include a red buckeye, a red horse chestnut, a willow oak, a weeping redbud, crabapples, dogwoods, a Japanese silk lilac, a wildfire gum, a white fringe tree and many more, too numerous to mention.
Phil and Pat admit that landscaping is a considerable amount of work, but the pleasure far outweighs the effort and brings them an enormous amount of enjoyment and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. The ongoing dilemma they now face is where are they going to put that new perennial, shrub or tree that they just can’t live without.