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Pure Garden Enchantment

With roots in the Burgundy region of France, the Landfall garden of Hank and Debbie Phillips is a living storybook — complete with bluebirds By Barbara J. Sullivan • Photographs by Mark Steelman


now White’s gotten herself lost in the woods. She may be crying. Certainly her situation isn’t looking good. One by one, a group of small animals begins to peek out at her from behind the trees. And then, the best part, a flock of bluebirds swoops down with a banner or a ribbon of some sort signaling that things are going to work out just fine. I’ve been waiting my whole life to see a real, live bluebird. Whenever I hear about bluebirds visiting other people’s gardens I admit to a slight twinge of jealousy. I picture Snow White and her new friends, and I wonder when my turn will come. Possibly this is the answer: You have to live in an enchanted garden. Hank and Debbie Phillips’ storybook home and garden in Landfall, although created only eight years ago, could easily be the model for one of those lavish, earlytwentieth-century fairy tale illustrations by Arthur Rackham or Jessie Willcox Smith. It has the old-world charm of a slower, more careful era with gardens so delicately and intricately designed they call to mind not so much landscaping as a kind of living embroidery. And, of course, their garden has bluebirds. The Phillipses’ inspiration was an old family chateau and farmhouse compound called Le Bourget in the Burgundy region of France which Hank has visited many times over the years — both to spend time with French cousins and to lend a hand with haying and other farm chores. His family traces its Burgundian heritage back

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

July 2014 •



July Salt 2014  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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