This elegant landscape around the Virginia home of the Shook family is the work of Troy Rhone Garden Design — a firm whose motto is “Find your secret garden, no matter where you live.” Indeed, if you set out to count the number of “gardens” in this layout, you just might find yourself wending down a path that feels very much like it goes to a hidden treasure. And there’s lots here: approaching the house, your way is paved by careful plantings on both sides of an expansive driveway, lots of green that is echoed between paving stones at the very front of the home. Go down the hill, and your brick-walled drive is covered with bursts of pink roses; manicured shrubs set off statuary. This is truly a multi-purpose site: you see a dozen different aspects of it all around you.
Which to examine first — the neat rows of a kitchen garden, with raised beds enclosed in stone? The putting green, with its hilly “rough” border, and lounge chairs nearby for kibitzers? An explosion of blue hydrangea just past the carefully laid-out maze-like shrubbery? Maybe you just want to amble — or run — down the expanse of lawn behind the putting green, do a cartwheel or two, and end up at a white fenced-in trellis? Whether you’re looking at “snowball” bushes or rosemary, checking out bougainvillea or painted daisies, you realize very soon that this isn’t a garden you can absorb all at once. You’ll want to take more than one stroll over these grounds — pausing at pots of cascading fuchsia and white, or banks of native grass — to realize all of the treasures it holds.