beach point

These gardens developed as part of a total rehab of a former corner store that had fallen into significant disrepair.   The lower level was a large parking area surrounded by scraggly lawn down to the high tide line with plenty of phragmites, poison ivy, and japanese knotweed too.

The final gardens include: a roof garden, koi pond, two rain gardens, a stone patio with fire pit, ephemeral spring woodland flowers, a morning facing slope full of hellebores and a new take on a victorian perennial bed in the middle of it all.  Since the property is right on a cove off Narrgansett Bay it also needed permitting to remove the invasives, and plant the in areas floods during high tides,  a kayak launch.   The gravel access to the boat storage area provides a place to work on boats - and hold annual summer solstice parties.

roof garden

The roof garden off the master bedroom is mostly native, or "nativish" plants - those native to the US - that have been selected to tolerate, full sun and the hot dry conditions that come with that.   The native prickly pear cactus is amazing and covered with bright yellow flowers in June.

rain garden

The lower rain garden accepts all the stormwater off the house.    Winterberries are a particular treat in this area, both to see and to feed the mockingbird who guards them most of the winter.  The garden is bordered by a sand dune of beach grass on one side and wonderfully fragrant sweet fern bushes on the other.

"koi" pond

The "koi" are really just inexpensive goldfish but they are quite happy among the native water lillies, cattails and marsh marigolds.  The pond itself serves as a sort of hortizonal fence between the upper and the lower space of the yard.  This layout allows neighbors who are strolling by the house to catch a glimpse of the gardens and the cove beyond while still letting one to sit in private enjoying the view

water's edge

Gardens next to the high tide line need to be salt tolerant for the occasional, and increasingly frequent flooding.    Here, seaside goldenrod is showing its big sunny blooms. Other favorites include: beach plum, groundsel tree, winterberry and sea lavender all of which 

plant palette 

Here's a sampling of some of the hundred of plants that fill this garden on a quarter acre lot.  Appreciative birds includes nesting: house wrens, cardinals, song sparrows, tits and gold finches.   Toads, foxes, coyotes, opposums, squirrels, gartner snakes, raccoons, minks and yes, unfortunately deer and groundhogs have also been sited.   Without the plants that wouldn't happen.

(see also: Plant Pro on Turn to 10 news interview)