When Senior Judge Frank M. Hull of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit isn’t working long hours in her chambers, you can often find her working in her gardens. Hull with her husband, Atlanta architect, Tony Aeck, live on property that has been in Tony’s family since the 1930s. The property, bordering the Chattahoochee River, has been designated a Wildlife Sanctuary by the Atlanta Audubon Society. Features of the property include an amphitheater and a sculpture of an eagle that was originally commissioned by John Portman that hung outside the Fraternal Order of Eagles building in downtown Atlanta.
The crown jewel of Hull’s gardens is the three-tiered perennial garden adjacent to the house. The garden her husband designed with Atlanta landscape architect Bill Smith was a 50th birthday gift for Hull. There are no straight lines or 90-degree or 45-degree angles in nature, and that is evident in this garden. Another theme is texture—for variety, interest and contrast.
Hull has a thriving vegetable garden. She prefers to have her plants climb to utilize space. This year, she went to a raised bed system to help with drainage issues. Al Moore, an Atlanta attorney who is a neighbor, helps the judge tend the vegetable garden.
Her passion for gardening started when Hull purchased her first home in Midtown Atlanta in 1977. She buys her plants from nurseries all over Atlanta. She also is involved with the Georgia Native Plant Society.
While pulling weeds in her garden, Hull quipped that she would rather be buying garden supplies from Home Depot than going to the mall. “Gardening is the perfect hobby,” she said, “because it combines love of nature, exercise, being outside in the sunshine, creativity, getting away from computers, plus rewards from picking your own flowers and vegetables. Gardening is soothing and refreshing to the soul.”