The garden of Robert Myers and Jack Page highlights this year’s Festival of Spring Gardens tour
By Katie Scarvey
Jack Page and Robert Meyers had a beautiful formal garden at their old home on West Monroe Street in Salisbury, but they didn’t have enough land for the kind of garden they wanted.
Now, in their new home at Forest Glen, they have three times the yard space ó almost a full acre.
That means that people stopping at their home this weekend during the Symphony Guild’s Festival of Spring Gardens will have plenty of room as they stroll through the garden’s many fragrant rose arbors.
Jack and Robert moved into their new home ó designed by Jack ó in October 2007, and they’ve been hard at work landscaping on weekends. The grounds are still a work in progress, Robert says.
Plans are in the works for a covered outdoor pavilion that will serve as a teahouse. A pond in the back near a deck is ringed with stones but empty as of yet.
Although the men’s vision is not yet complete, you wouldn’t know it to drive by their home.
As the house comes into view, what strikes one immediately is the extravagance of roses.
There are a whopping 580 roses on site ó and 230 of them were moved there (along with a frog that Robert raised from a tadpole for his two daughters).
There are roses of every conceivable variety ó climbing roses, mini roses, hybrid teas, floribundas, rugosas. There are roses named for celebrities, roses with blooms that look like dogwood flowers, roses that look like velvet and roses with sentimental value, including a beautiful red climbing rose given by Robert’s grandmother, which has now been moved four times.
Small markers indicate the roses’ names, which are as unique as the roses themselves: Gizmo, Rosie O’Donnell, Climbing Iceberg.
The profusion of roses makes sense when you consider that Robert’s business is roses. He’s worked with roses for 10 years, several years ago starting his own business, The Perfect Rose (www.theperfectrose.com).
The Perfect Rose, along with Cloninger Ford-Toyota-Scion, is a presenting sponsor of this year’s Festival of Spring Gardens.
Like the rose gardens Robert installs and maintains, The Perfect Rose is thriving, even in an economic downturn.
“People love their roses and will sacrifice other things,” says Robert, who has about 160 clients.
This year, roses are the focus for the festival, and tour-goers will be able to see beautiful roses at every stop (see story on page 4C).
Although Jack still has a day job in Charlotte, he also helps with The Perfect Rose, doing the books.
The two men worked together to design the garden. Jack, who is an architect, designed the basic layout of the beds. The style is formal, but because the Mediterranean style house has boxy lines, he chose to soften its angularity with a curvier approach in the gardens.
The overall effect is that of an Italian villa ó which definitely sets the house apart from its Forest Glen neighbors.
One thing Jack and Robert love about their new garden is that it’s completely irrigated.
“I don’t have to pull a hose anywhere,” Jack says, relief evident in his voice.
Jack and Robert are very involved with the Rowan Rose Society ó Jack is president and Robert is vice president. Since the Rose Show is also this weekend (1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Civic Center), they have a busy couple of days coming up.
Both Jack and Robert work during the week, so, most of their gardening takes place on the weekends.
It seems astounding that after only 18 months, their gardens are lovely enough to be the highlight of a garden tour. Jack gives Robert a lot of credit for that.
Robert is an incredibly efficient worker, Jack says, able to do things much more quickly than the average gardener.
Jack and Robert are looking forward to this year’s tour ó which is their third. They enjoy sharing their gardens with the community, and they also known for supplying grateful neighbors with cut flowers.
They’ll have some roses for sale during the tour, with some of the proceeds going to the Symphony Guild.