Take a peek at this garden of beauty in Bentonville

Story by Susan Jasan

To wander through the Bentonville garden of Tami Bever is an experience in the magical. Throughout the garden one finds delightful surprises. Tami artistically utilizes plants to frame the whimsical “pictures” she creates. Even the tiniest spaces are brimming with charm.

1. Layers from evergreen boxwoods to ferns, from specimen plants such as the peegee hydrangea to tropical palms in the urn, from the reblooming azaleas to the gnome house, all create interest as one meanders along the curving walkway. Photo by Susan Jasan. 2. Mr. & Mrs. Garden Gnome welcome visitors to their home tucked under the peegee hydrangea (H. paniculata ‘Grandiflora’). Moss, miniature hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa cv.), mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus), and Ajuga frame the home’s landscape. Photo by Susan Jasan. 3. The daydreaming angel is tucked into the pot by the entry for unsuspecting visitors to discover. Photo by Susan Jasan.

The juxtaposition of sculptural features against dramatic foliage causes one to pause in the garden to fully appreciate the vignettes. The arrangement is very intentional. Indeed, with an artist’s eye she blends foliage and garden ornamentation together seamlessly.

The front porch is the pallet for many mini-gardens throughout, each delightful. Just as a landscape designer considers the relationship between plants, form and texture, so too the arrangements across the porch are each a work of art in and of themselves. Photo by Susan Jasan.
The garden gate makes a perfect transition between the driveway and the magical garden beyond. Photo by Susan Jasan.
The small cherub fountain is located at the end of a main walkway. The urn filled with coleus, creeping jenny, and hostas is set against a backdrop of evergreen yews. Photo by Tami Bever.

The garden is built around basics. Evergreens serve as the backbone of the garden beds: boxwood (Buxus spp.), yews (Taxus spp.), and hollies (Ilex spp.). Blooming plants such as azaleas (Rhododendron spp.), hydrangeas, ferns, Hosta, coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), Chrysanthemum, coneflowers (Echinacea spp.), creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), sage (Salvia spp.), and more add seasonal color. The contrasting textures of perennial foliage add to the garden’s charm. A mixture of hostas dominates the shade garden, from tiny ‘Patriot’ hostas to gigantic forms such as ‘Royal Standard’.

1. The garden maiden is a focal point among the surrounding butterfly bushes (Buddleia spp.) and the daisies in the foreground. It is as if the branches of the butterfly bushes are wrapping their “arms” around the sculpture. Photo by Tami Bever. 2. The layers of ivy, yews, and iron art pieces adorn one corner of the garden and draw attention away from the neighbor’s wall just beyond. Photo by Susan Jasan. 3. Out of view, a gnome family and their home are hidden below the spectacular blooms of the peegee hydrangea. Red roses and white hydrangeas blooming in the heat of the summer set against the lush green lawn and deep green boxwood. Photo by Tami Bever.

What makes the garden particularly unique is Tami’s use of fairies, gnomes, and large sculptural features, all with a great sense of balance. 

A small metal tray is home to a collection of succulents. The little yellow bird and the whimsical angel complete the arrangement. Photo by Susan Jasan.
Utilizing hydrangeas, ivy (Hedera spp.), and the trellis beyond, the miniature garden becomes a focal point in this large container. Photo by Susan Jasan.

Not many years ago, a pool was the focal point of the backyard. In a bold move, the pool was removed, evergreens brought in as background against the existing privacy fence, and layers of planting were added in front of the evergreens. A central lawn space is framed by the surrounding gardens. The backyard is still in transition as Tami considers the next garden feature to add to the existing landscape. 

Sculptural elements adorn many areas of the garden. Photo by Susan Jasan.

A garden should be an extension of the gardener, and in this case, it is just that. The spirit of this garden – with its whimsy, balance and careful planning – reflects the thoughtfulness of the owner. Tami too could be described as a mix of playfulness, whimsy, balance, and thoughtfulness. In the spirit of a true garden, this garden and landscape continues to evolve. A fire pit and enhanced patio area is in the future with additional evergreen screening and new planting areas.

When a dining chair has outlived its use, repurpose it into a fun garden space. Here kale, mums, and pansies flourish. Photo by Susan Jasan.

As you plan and plant your garden, be sure it reflects your own style, whether whimsical or formal, whether natural or a collection of hybrids, whether small in scale or grand. Make your garden your own!

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