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Feel like you've given yourself a special gift every time you step into your yard (hire a Fine Gardener)

One of my specialties is Fine Gardening for the residential environment. What is Fine Gardening? It's the detail work with plants in the landscape that take a garden from a humdrum yard to an enchanting landscape. You may see finely pruned topiaries and espaliers or experience what looks like an untouched perennial bed, that has been honed with specific hands on care.


Anyone who wants to have a changing repertoire of plants, variety and vitality, can bring Fine Gardening to their home landscape. As a Fine Gardener, I anticipate what nature will do, making specific plant choices to bring out the best feature and know how to work with given conditions, whether moisture, sun, soil or other factors. Capitalize on my extensive knowledge of native and exotic to make plant choices I will work with you your existing plants so they will grow their best. Have a garden that brings you joy each time you spend time in your yard or garden!


Sadly, many homeowners look for a 'set it an forget it' mentality, with basic maintenance and unexciting forms that often defy the plants natural enchanting habits and features. Others are stuck with plants the builder gave them, often the wrong plant in the wrong place. While owners are unhappy with the poor aesthetics, the plants are resigned to a life of suffering in the wrong cultural spot (light, moisture) or often, require ceaseless pruning to curb it's natural growth drive since it is the wrong plant for the location.


I earned a deeper of level Fine Gardening skills at a pre-eminent historical horticultural property, Oak Spring Garden Foundation, on 700 acres in Upperville, Va., in 2022. I worked primarily in the historic walled garden and surrounding areas, and on the Biocultural Conservation Farm, doing hands on care and a design project planned to be installed on the property.



Fine garden with topiaries pruned beautiful flowers and a path
Bunny Mellon's Walled Garden at Oak Springs Garden Foundation in the summer of 2022


The foundation is dedicated to preserving the mission of Bunny Mellon, the former owner and self trained horticulturalist of the property. To fulfill her motto that 'nothing should be noticed' teams of people worked to create the lovely, timeless and beguiling gardens and greenhouse.


Some of the elements I worked on in the the walled garden and immediate area were:


The historic Martha Washington Crabapple allee

Stepover Cordons

Espaliers, Hawthorn, Rose, Pear, Quince, Wisteria and other

Crack gardens

Pruning of historic topiary trees, Holly, Hawthorn, and Hardy Orange

Everyday care of the perennials, annual flower, vegetable, herb and shrubs


If you see inspiration here, call or email me at info@melissahallgardendesigns to set up a consultation.





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