2013 Garden Walk – Metz Garden

Mary Ann and Dan Metz’s home and garden grace their old town Champaign, Illinois neighborhood with mature beds of hosta, peonies, and woody ornamentals that complement the home’s traditional architecture and an elegant, yet almost organic hardscape. The garden’s solid foundation supports surprising moments of fancy and artistic details. Mindy and I visited the Metz garden with our friend Laura (of Durable Gardening) as a part of the Champaign County Master Gardener garden walk on June 22.

The potted red cordyline in the front garden immediately caught my eye as we entered the garden. Its soft undertones of brown-green reflect the house siding, while the red variegation echo the Japanese maple foliage and American flag hanging from the front porch. It provides an architectural foil to the soft mounds of hosta.



The strong foundation of the Metz garden is beautifully highlighted with unique art and splashes of floral color.





Of course, I’d be remiss to ignore the hosta, peonies and shrubs that make up most of the garden.



Alongside the patio and conservatory on the back of the Metz’s home is a large pond, deftly edged with aquatic and tropical plants.




Full sun is at a premium in most older neighborhoods like this one. I loved the choice of variegated Gomphrena to fill one of the elusive sunny spots.


A fast and furious thunderstorm rolled in as we were just finishing the garden tour, so we took refuge under cover on the patio. Sitting on a tile table was this sparkly high heel, overflowing with a textural bonanza of miniature plants.

It was this small piece of the garden that helped me realize that what makes the Metz’s garden so wonderful is a sense of purpose and design at every corner. Every plant, every stone, every piece of art makes a conscious contribution to the overall aesthetic.

I owe a big thank you to Mary Ann and Dan Metz for opening their garden to us. The generous opportunity to visit other gardens can be one of inspiration and reflection on our own gardens. The Metz’s garden has me wondering about my own garden choices. How does each of the elements in my garden contribute — consciously — to the whole?

Published by Christopher Tidrick

Be real. Love always. Share beauty. Lead well. Learn more.


  1. Beautiful !! The only think I would change would be them gold fish !! I just cant get the attraction other than maybe people wanting swimming floral arrangements ?? Some nice green sunfish ,, something as natural looking as the pond itself … a little school of chub and some cray fish .. 😉



  2. Grumpy Gardener 06.29.13 at 3:05 pm

    So the legend is true — people really do garden in Illinois!



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