620 East Franklin Street
Imposing wrought iron gates and a gracious circular flagstone-paved drive lead to the large house, built ca. 1911, overlooking historic Franklin Street. Stone dogs holding baskets flank the front steps, and a quintessentially southern wraparound front porch shaded by evergreen clematis provides a dramatic prologue to the house. The tone is one of formal elegance but includes environmentally friendly elements throughout. Elegant rain chains with cornucopia shapes on each corner of the eaves connect to underground cisterns while a wall fountain with encircling brick walls provides white noise against Franklin Street traffic; its water runs into a French drain and feeds an underground cistern. At the side of the house is a sunken garden of the dimensions of a regulation croquet court; a rose garden beyond is designed on an axis. The back garden, overlooked by a wrought-iron balcony, climaxes in a pergola decked with climbing hydrangeas. Behind it is a shady garden with peonies, Solomon’s Seal, heucheras, and lily of the valley. Notable plants include ‘Crown Jewel’ gardenias, sun-tolerant ‘Miss Kim’ lilacs, yews and Japanese redbuds. Camellias and Chinese hollies are original to the property.
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