The Roper Garden : 1001 Auburn Drive, Blacksburg
At once intimate and spacious, this irregularly-shaped haven lies between its passive solar house and a recreational path. Twenty-three years of enthusiastic gardening, including one major makeover, have produced a garden for all seasons. Informal paths meander around imaginative groupings of shrubs, trees, and plants. One of these-a tranquil Buddha garden-adjoins a path where pig, rabbit, and duck statues lead playfully to a colorful swath of plants, such as hellebores and grape hyacinths in spring. The seasonally-changing palette artistically mixes light and dark, including sunny spots and soothing shade from conifers and numerous Japanese maples. A deck, gazebo, and seating pieces scattered throughout invite lingering. All this is accomplished with locally-sourced plants, composting, 20 cubic yards of mulch, and a combination of hard work and love.