If this garden could talk: Historical Carmel home refurbishes Victorian-era outdoor space


By Devynn Barnes

It was a junkyard, then an apartment building, and now a family home and the future location of a wedding reception. The Carmel house on 1st Street has a lot of history, inside and out, and thanks to the current owners, the Flecks, that history has been maintained. The house recently had its garden and landscaping refurbished by Eagleson Landscaping. Using artifacts found in the backyard and materials that would have been used in the late 1800s when the house was built, Eagleson and the Flecks were able to create an outdoor sanctuary with a historic feel.

Owner of the home, Jane Fleck, said that the refurbishing of the garden was inspired by the time she and her husband spent living in Vienna, Austria before they moved to Carmel.

“We lived in Europe for three years, and I just really enjoyed the gardens,” Fleck said.  She loved the ornate landscaping and beautiful architecture she saw there, and so when the time came to refurbish the garden at her own historic own, she called Bill Eagleson of Eagleson Landscaping.

“The house is very historical, and all the landscaping has [stayed]in a vain of what would have been put in in that kind of Victorian era,” Eagleson said. “I’ve worked on older homes in the Meridian-Kessler area, but as far as a home this vintage… it was a little unique.”

Eagleson said that they had limestone steps and clay brick cut to make sure that everything looked original. They decided to put a medallion with an old urn in the middle of the garden and used travertine to keep to the vintage theme.

Fleck said that as they went through the restoration, artifacts would turn up in the dirt reminding them of the site’s junkyard past. “Things just worked their way to the surface,” Fleck said. An old glass bottle, a chipped plate, and metal tools have all been found in the backyard, and some pieces have been used as décor in the garden.

The garden will be the site of the Fleck’s daughter’s wedding reception this spring, providing a beautiful backdrop for the celebration. The Fleck will also be on the Carmel Clay Historical Garden Tour for the second time this summer, starting June 13.


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