Couple's landscape is always changing

Armed with a master landscaping plan three years ago, prosthodontist Mike Gardner tore out the backyard of his West Lake home and began transforming it. He and his wife, Jean, finished the project in about six months, far ahead of the five years he thought it would take.

"We did everything ourselves. We put in the fountain, the shed, the arbor - everything," Mrs. Gardner said.

Though the landscape architect marked out the garden areas, he did it without specifying any particular plants.

"He said, 'I know you will know what to put in there,'" Mrs. Gardner said.

Drawing on her knowledge from a master gardener's class and her years working in a plant nursery, she bought plants and put them in the garden only to dig them up later to give to friends or move to another spot in the yard. The yard is continually evolving.

"I always tell people my house is behind the jungle," she said.

The Gardners' Westies, Seamus and Katiebelle, also benefited from the makeover - no more grass, no more scratching themselves.

"Unfortunately, we can't walk them all that much because once I start walking them, if I take them around the block, they have to get in the grass," Mrs. Gardner said.

AT HOME

THE OWNER: Jean and Dr. Mike Gardner

THE HOME: A 3,100-square-foot traditional brick house in West Lake subdivision with three bedrooms and 3 baths

IT'S A FACT: The Gardners were high school sweethearts.

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