Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Secret gardens revealed # 1

Nestled among charming homes in the Bell Mead neighborhood, Steve Hagen’s garden is unique. There is not a blade of grass. “Why grow and mow grass, when you can smell the roses! Not that I have roses, but most plants, bushes and trees store much more carbon than any blade of grass.”

When walking down the sidewalk, most of the other neighbors have grass and neatly boxed high maintenance cut shrubs. Steve has a wonderful tropical English style garden. Shrubs, trees and grownd covers converge and produce an amazing symphony of color texture and depth.

There are plenty of native trees and shrubs, mixed in with colorful flowering shrubs and palms. The meandering pathway to the front door leads us to a covered sitting area with inviting chairs
The backyard is a tropical paradise. There is a large fruiting mango tree, vines flowing up the palms and a wide assortment of shrubs and groundcovers as well. A stepping stone pathway meanders through the garden with a small wading pool off center acting as the focal point.

There is no sprinkler system in this lush paradise; the plants have to make it on their own. Steve hand waters when he has to on occasion. Many of the plants came as cuttings and samples from friends' gardens. Steve is the past chair of the Parks and Public Space Committee of Miami Neighborhoods United.

He is living proof of the magic that can be accomplished with a small amount of space without spending a king’s ransom. (Politicians take note.)


  1. I enjoyed looking at Steve's garden. How nice not to have to grow grass or worry about watering.