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Virtual Tour of Lesley Kash’s Garden

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Our next Virtual Summer Garden Tour uses a very different technique to (try to) replicate the experience of touring a garden – which is the goal in this year without in-person tours. This video uses a music track instead of narration. For information about the garden, the gardener tells the story in text below the video on YouTube. Click here and scroll down to read it.

That’s Lesley Kash, who grew up in this house and bought it back 17 years ago. She’s become one of those passionate gardeners you can spot around Greenbelt covered in dirt and bug spray on hot summer days. And loving every minute of it.

Lesley’s Notes on Scenes in the Video

Clockwise from upper left: cat cemetery, AC fence, brick boundary line, and Insta-fence

Front Yard Informal Entry

A handy shortcut for walkers, this yard entry always looked scruffy – a path worn in the lawn with no hint of welcome. Now, flanked by a succulent collection in a half-wall of cinder blocks, a chaste tree and a shapely evergreen, simple white pavers curve from the neighbor’s driveway toward the patio.

Behnkes Sign by Compost Station

Why decorate a compost station? Because an everyday destination might as well bring back a nice memory or offer some fun. This irreplaceable sign hangs from the chain link fence with garage hooks, so it can come down and spend the winter out of the weather.

Cat Memorial

This memorial for two beloved cats is snuggled into a venerable azalea hedge, bordered by Revolution hostas and Japanese painted ferns contained by a curve of trenched bricks. For a few weeks each spring, a flush of bridal wreath makes a little heaven above.

“Insta-fence” behind Democratic Sign

A serviceable but ugly chain link boundary can masquerade as a pricey wooden fence. These pre-fab Lowe’s fence panels hang from the iron rail with garage hooks (those sturdy ones made to hang bicycles, one in the middle and one at each end of each panel).

Air-Conditioner Fence

A screen fence separates an unlovely, hot-air-belching condenser from a sensitive variegated kousa. The odd, aerial view of this new garden from the window above is unified by a coordinated brick design, with ceramic lanterns adding whimsy atop the posts.


Viewpoints are tricky with living area windows and breakfast deck a half-story above the ground. With a much-used screen porch at ground level, plant heights matter – winter interests as well as summer foliage.

Lesley Kash in a garden somewhere
Secret Path to Deep Shade

A path curving out of sight into a deeply shaded area is especially inviting when hot afternoon sunshine is filtered by rampant pollinator magnets like Maryland senna and Joe Pye weed. It’s a nice spot for Solomon’s seal, pulmonaria, euphorbia and those finicky little hostas. Some caladium bulbs can adjust the mood or palette toward elegant, cool white or floozy, hot pink.

Brick-Edged Property Boundary

When the back of a bed is somebody else’s lawn, that’s awkward. Where do they mow and how does it look? This simple treatment, trenched bricks confining a sedge row, will fill in and make a polite, understated boundary.

NOTE: By contributing these pandemic stories, photos, et cetera, Greenbelters are making an unconditional donation of the material to the nonprofit Greenbelt Online.org and the Greenbelt Museum/City of Greenbelt, which reserve the right to keep, lend, or otherwise dispose of the donated material, and may use the material on our website, for social media or other postings, in promotional materials or in future exhibits.

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com.

  1. Melissa Mackey
    | Reply

    I so enjoyed seeing Leslie’s charming garden and appreciate all the plant choices and artful elements that make her garden so individual and fun to visit. I liked seeing the butterfly zoom by. Thank you!

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