Home & Living

The Constant Gardeners

A glimpse at Garry Cerrone and Myra Perel’s historic Franklintown garden.

WHEEL OF FORTUNE: Our property dates back to the 1850s or earlier. This is a mill town and all of the houses in this area are relative to that mill. What we have as a garden now was originally a part of a wheelwright house where they would fix wagon wheels.

ROYAL TREATMENT: I’m very fascinated with British gardens because they often look very natural but are actually very manicured.

WATERING HOLE: On the first-level terrace there is an old artisan spring box. It always stays full of water and was actually the original well for this property. I have a pump in there and just pump it out to water the vegetable garden.

GARDEN VARIETY: Our vegetable garden is about 1,600 square feet and we grow everything from corn and tomatoes to broccoli and Brussels sprouts. We eat very well out of the garden for a good part of the year.

THROWING SHADE: In the north side of the yard we have a seating area that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, so we have to use all shade plants like impatiens and begonias. I taught ceramics and sculpture for 42 years so I made the ceramic faces.

WORDS OF WISDOM: My whole philosophy about gardening is never let it get ahead of you. If you don’t do things in a timely fashion according to the weather and the time of year, than all you are doing is playing catch up. I try to stay on top of everything and keep the pruning at the right time so it never gets to be one big effort.

ONE OF A KIND: This is a very unusual space with the terrace lawn. I don’t think anyone in Baltimore has a yard like this. It was in the 1840s or 1850s when they built it and they just carved it out of the hillside. We are declared historic. I think we are hysterical, but they are calling us historic.