BY LISA BRODY • PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN SOBCZAK
Cousins Jacqueline Spizizen, 5, and Madeline Stein, 6, examine the wonders of a koi pond.
just never knew
the future they held for her.
"When I was a kid, I used to
dig up weeds in the park, and
get excited when they came
back the next year," she laughs.
"I just thought they were pretty
Debbie's passion for flowers
bloomed in college when she
spent a summer caring for other
people's houseplants. "I put in
an ad, and it became a career. I
was going to go to law school,"
she says. "One of my customers
asked me to help her with her
outdoor gardening, and now I
do all of the work for my hus-
band's commercial properties."
A seasonal career, it occupies all
of her time from April to
October. "For friends, I just
give opinions and hints," she
6 • APRIL, 20(14 •
Debbie and her husband,
Kevin, recently transformed
three acres in Franklin, building
a majestic red-brick home and
planting magnificent gardens
that bloom three out of four
seasons. A brick wall in front of
their circular drive sets the
stage for formal gardens, with
colorful, blooming trees, such as
white lilacs, burning bush, pur-
ple maples and Japanese
maples. In front, weeping
crabapple and miniature peach
trees are paired with phlox, rho-
ajuga, peonies, wisteria and
"First I have lots of tulips
blooming, from white to red and
then pink," says Debbie.
"Then I have purple allium,
and then I plant canvas in the
summer. I dig out and store the
canna bulbs every year. I just
throw the bulbs in a garbage
can with dirt and keep it in the
back of the garage."
The back yard showcases
brick terraces, a pool and tennis
courts. Different gardens, which
Debbie has designed with var-
ied purposes, rim the property.
She has a wildflower garden
towards the back, where she
throws seed mixes she found
here and in Colorado, "just to
see what grows," she says.
"When I discover a new plant, I
bring it home and try it out
before I plant it professionally."
Along the rear of the property
are blackberry bushes, pear
Jason Spizizen, 13, practices on the putting green, while mom, Debbie Spizizen, basks in the sun.