Irma Hummel har även medverkat som trädgårdsdesigner i olika avsnitt av serien ”Curb Appeal” på kanalen HGTV, ”Home and Garden Television”. Hon var ansvarig för två projekt i avsnitt som sändes i september 2006 och april 2007. I båda programmen visade hon hur man gör om framsidan och entrén från vardagliga, för att inte säga tråkiga, hus i Washington DC området till trädgårdar som både är funktionella och vackra.
En helt genomgripande förändring – från övergiven tomt till ett privat litet paradis mitt i stan
När vi först kom dit fanns bara en cementerad bilinfart, en uteplats av marksten, ett fallfärdigt trästaket och dräneringsproblem. Efter att cement, asfalt, skräp och jordhögar togs bort skapade vi en ombonad trädgård med en oval gräsmatta inramad av blommande buskar och perenner som ger doft och färg; idealisk för avkoppling och barns lek.
Mycket plats på en liten yta
Bland all bråte fanns en japansk lönn- det enda värt att spara. Målet var att göra plats för många gäster och att sammanföra det västerländska med en touch av österländsk tradition. Låga, breda murar skapade plats för många och bakom dessa planterade vi. Mycket tid och möda lades ner på utförandet av murar och mönster eftersom att ju mindre ytan är ju viktigare blir detaljerna.
The Karch residence from 1790 is located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, VA. It’s a townhome with two gardens, one side yard and one back yard, we’ll be concentrating on the back yard. When I first came in contact with the Karch family the two gardens looked awful. The uneven and old pavement was torn up, the few remaining plants were in very bad shape, it was ugly, dark, shady, slippery and very inhospitable but with a great potential to become spectacular. The owners wanted to improve the drainage, create space for entertaining, space for the BBQ and screen the AC units, everything on 20×20’ approximately! In my eyes it was a wonderful challenge and a very exciting project. To create space for entertaining and people to sit we built the horseshoe shaped stone seat wall around the patio. The idea to the flagstone star pattern came when I found out that Mrs. Karch loves quilts and is from Texas, the Lone Star State. The star is placed in the very centre of the perfectly sized flagstone circle that touches the wall of the house and the seat wall. The old brick was reused, installed around it (all on stone dust) forming concentric circles where very every single brick was cut to fit perfectly. To create drainage, there was none before; we installed a flo-well that has worked very well. The plant selection required some research. All the plants (Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Aucubas, ferns etc) with the exception of the Hostas were used in the late 18th century, perhaps not the exact same varieties but the intent was never to recreate a garden form that time, only to bring something from the past to our days with a little touch! I wanted to play more with texture and tones of green than colour, that’s why we used several chartreuse green plants because they stand out in the shade.
When I first met John Mitchell in Upper Marlboro he was only going to plant a few shrubs and Zoisia, but after we started talking and both got so enthusiastic the plan grew into a complete garden make over! He’s very interested in birds, butterflies and other wild life and wanted to have as many of them as possible visit his garden all year around. Most of the plants were selected because they in some way attract animals, but resist dear, at some point of the year. Where the back yard ends there’s woodland so we decided to add layers of shrubs and perennials, the large bed is horse shoe shaped and runs along the rear and side property lines. We incorporated Callicarpa, Aesculus, Mahonia, Viburnum trilobum, Ilex verticillata among the shrubs, Joe Pye Weed, Bee Balm, Coneflower, Nepeta, Black Eyed Susan and Pennisetum among the perennials. Some, such as the Weeping Willow and Maple were on a separate wish list. The planting around the house is a bit more organized, but not formal. However, we still only used plants that attract animals such as Aesculus, Magnolia, Nandina, roses, Nepeta etc. John now has Hummingbirds, butterflies, all kinds of birds playing in his bird bath and a rabbit (that sleeps in the Nepeta) visiting his garden.
Mrs. Masri contacted me because the small townhouse back yard in Falls Church VA was very uninteresting, dull, charmless and didn’t invite you to be there. It was a regular back yard, 20×20’ with a concrete slab as patio, one tree and an ugly ac-unit that needed to be screened. She wanted a peaceful haven with space to entertain and easy to maintain since she lives part of the year abroad. How to make this work was up to me. We enlarged the patio, but left space for planting, and capped it with irregular flagstone in browner tones. We also added a stone seat wall to maximize the space when she had people over. The most interesting feature in m eyes is the stone bench. It’s centered on the chimney and the main focal point. In its simplicity it’s a stunning piece that was easy to add to a design but almost impossible to implement because of its size and weight. Around the ac unit we built a lattice screen with removable panels, only the posts are fixed. Because the existing tree is a Purple Leaf Plum decided to have the rest of the plants follow the same colour scheme. We planted a mix of different blue grey Hostas, Japanese Painted fern, Tricyrtis and burgundy Heuchera with Hydrangeas in the shade under the tree. On the sunny side we kept the same colours but used Lamb’s Ear, Pennisetum, Sedum, Heuchera and Echinacea with the Hydrangea. On either side of the stone bench we have Schizophragma‘Moon light’. In order to get more greenery against the house we added large burgundy pots with plants, mostly perennials (Hostas, a redleaf Japanese Maple, Pennisetum ‘Rubrum’ etc), in the same blue grey with burgundy tones.