The Effinger Garden : 710 Harding Avenue, Blacksburg
Located on busy Harding Avenue, this house and expansive lawn appear deceptively ordinary from the street. But a visit opens multiple garden pleasures: conifers mix with tropicals, and wide borders display perennials and annuals on a test-garden scale. Artemisia, various lilies, goldenrod, echinacea, begonias-there's something for every season. An 80-year-old maple has full range for its lovely growth habit, and by the garden shed an exotic clerodendrum reigns, with leaves smelling like peanut butter and flowers "smelling like heaven." Weeping cypress contrasts with flowering cherry, and the gardener's two favorites-an umbrella pine and a Forest Pansy Redbud-combine for spring color and year-round greenery. Forty years of hard work and a willingness to incorporate new materials have produced this eclectic delight.