sept 2019

Beth Hoffman & Dale Blasingame
17 Kingstone Road


It’s been said that a basic garden is a wall, a chair, a tree and a little bit of water. This garden has all this, and more; it is a visual feast for the eyes and senses. If you look closely, the “wall” also contains a chimney upon which there is a lovely Staghorn Fern, not a commoner in many gardens. Hard to believe that Beth claims this all began with things that “looked interesting” when she was in a plant store, or she “just happened to come upon” while out and about! She says that part of the garden’s inspiration happened when her daughter was born in 1993 and they planted 2 Japanese Maples, which are the foundation of her vision. There were also some special plants like her Ilex already there, and she got several from neighbors, like “Frankye’s Hostas” and “Amy Leventhal’s Stone Mountain Daisies”. Beth has created a world to admire in this fairly small space, a blend of sustainability and authenticity. While we were walking about, a lovely basil plant was literally swarming with happy bees! This is an “under-the-radar” paradise with a perfect balance of minimal with sumptuousness!
A process that’s been in the making for the 30 years they have lived in Avondale, Beth has been “playing in the dirt”, adding and editing both greenery and stones, planters and hardscape. She had the idea of creating a courtyard, and has done so beautifully, but more! Adding stones from her sister’s home in East Point, bricks, and rocks from Patricia Calcagno, the metamorphosis is magical. This garden is lovely and peaceful from the street, looking up at it, but when you’re standing near the front door looking out and down, you really get a sense that she has created a space with fresh air, giving all elements room to breathe. She watches her plants grow and change as though they were children, developing into maturity. Beth is one of those gardeners who has taken the time to watch the light changes during the days and seasons over the years, choosing her plants to thrive with those changes.
This year, she has expanded her herb garden. Adding sedums and basil, lavender and barberries, both blue and yellow false indigo, leopard plants and portulaca, and many more, the expansion has truly blossomed into a lasting legacy of Dale and Beth’s years in Avondale.