North Augusta resident Robert Boyd never enjoyed yardwork.
Cutting the grass was the extent of his lawn-maintenance regimen, and that was a chore, to say the least.
But since June, Mr. Boyd has installed a water garden complete with a fountain, built an arbor, planted flowers, shrubs and trees, all with a smile.
The result is a cultural mix. Japanese rock and water gardens combined with old-fashion flower gardens. It was a labor of love.
"My wife, Jean, wanted the garden, so this is my gift to her," Mr. Boyd said.
The Boyds began planning their garden about six months ago. "I wanted to have an attractive place where I could enjoy some quiet time," said Mrs. Boyd.
The idea of the Japanese garden appealed to them when they saw the garden of Charles Blank featured in The Augusta Chronicle on June 17.
"We liked his garden so much that we wanted something fairly similar," Mrs. Boyd said. "We took our time and shopped around." The Boyds scoured flea markets all over the Southeast to find statues and other fixtures for their garden.
Japanese maples, pagodas and statues of Buddha grace the lawn, along with a water garden and a rock garden.
There are also concrete tiles with covered bridge designs, statues of elves and terracotta planters.
Although the Japanese motif dominates much of the landscape, miniature flower beds with tiger lilies and butterfly bushes are sprinkled across the lawn. Begonias, heather and geraniums line the porch, guarded by Stumpy the elf.
Canna lilies, day lilies, weeping willows and dogwoods also add to the unusual landscape.
Retirement has afforded Mr. Boyd time and changed his perspective on yardwork. "I am finally able to work in the yard and actually enjoy it," he said.
Mr. Boyd, 68, admits that the landscape is a bit unusual. "People normally don't put this kind of garden in the front yard," he said.
But it was perfect for Mrs. Boyd.
"I wanted to have a place outside where I could sit and meditate," she said. Thanks to her husband, she is now able to do that.
Ashlee Griggs covers gardening for The Augusta Chronicle. She can be reached at (706) 823-3351.