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One of the most important things Shane was looking for when he and his wife were going to construct their home was a piece of property that would allow him to build the beautiful gardens he always wanted to give to his beloved wife.

They found a one and a quarter acre piece land in a Southern Wake County just off Penny Road that was part of an old farm. The plot was level and best of all, there was no red clay to be seen.

Shane designed the gardens while the house was under construction. Work began in late 2005 and the first phase was finished in early 2006.  (See the initial installation here)

Using inspiration from the many gardens they had seen on their world travels, Shane incorporated different elements into his master plan. There is an English garden, a formal rose garden (containing 70 David Austin English Rose bushes), an herb garden, a berry garden, a large raised stone planter, alley ways, a heart-shaped lawn and now even a tropical garden.

Shortly after all the plantings were in, it became apparent that their property sat on underground springs that kept much of their gardens perpetually moist. (The initial mud pit should have been a good clue).  All the plantings (with the exception of the raised stone planter) had to be removed, loads of soil added and then the plants (those that survived the soggy conditions) replanted.  (see more on this soggy story here).

Many who tour the garden are surprised at its young age since the plantings have now flourished under the care of Shane and Tomra.

In the fall of 2007 beds were prepared to contain the new tropical garden (phase 2) which lies beyond the formal gardens. They were planted in the spring of 2008 with a variety of gingers, bananas, cannas, hibiscus and other plants that will add to the tropical flair. There is room beyond the tropical garden for phase 3 which should come in a year or two.