lawn to garden


The owners wanted to revamp their yard to make it more welcoming for wildlife - and themselves.  We started in the front so that one is greeted by a pollinator garden in the summer and woody plants that are interesting throughout the year.   All of the plants were also selected to appeal to birds.

plant palette



Cornus florida 'Appalachian spring'

Dogwoods in spring are magical.   This is a disease resitant strain

Witch Hazel

Hamamelis x Jelena

Blooms in late winter

Small Vase shaped tree


Chionanthus virginicus

Fringe trees are small trees that have interesting, airy fragrant spring blossoms.  Grows well in part shade.


Pasture Rose

Rosa virginiana

Hardy beautiful rose with great hips. 

Small shrub

Sweet pepperbush

Clethra alnifolia

The aroma of this plant is reason alone to grow it.   The steeple shaped summer blooms are lovely and the winter shape of the branches is graceful.

Small shrub


Ilex glabra

A workhorse in the garden, easy to care for evergreen

Medium shrub


lex verticillata - Winter red (and Southern Gentleman)

Beautiful against the snow.  Birds love the berries.  When the plants get too large for their location you can take down and entire trunk for a winter floral arrangement.

Medium shrub

Sweet fern

Comptonia peregrina

Slow growing and spreading shrub with a wonderful scent and interesting flowers

Low Shrub

Carolina allspice

Calycanthus florida 'Aphrodite'

Carolina allspice blooms in early summer and keeps going.  This cultivar is showier than the straight speicies and also fragrant.

5' to 10' tall and wide

Black Chokeberry

Aronia melocarpa

Medium shrub with bright red fall foliage and black berries that are liked by birds.


Black Chokeberry 'low mound'

Aronia melocarpa 'low mound'

Same, flowers, foliage and berries as the species plant but smaller

2' by 2'

Beach Plum

Prunus maritima

  The medium-sized shrubs themselves are attractive plants and are covered with white blossoms in the spring and fruit that makes great jam.

5' by 7'

grasses / groundcover

Pennsylvania sedge

Carex pennsylvanica

Pennsylvania sedge is a native grass that grows naturally under oak trees and has been often recommended as a replacement for European lawn grasses.   Its tough and spreads slowly by rhizomes.  Flower stalks to 10'

This is recommended under the new dogwood trees.


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Good ground cover with few weeds. Tolerates hot, dry, salty conditions.    Great choice for the area between the sidewalk and the street.  

Very Low Shrub 

Christmas fern

Polystichum acrosichoides

Christmas fern is a good choice for shady areas and requires less moisture than most ferns.


Swamp milkweed

Asclepias incarnata

Despite its name, swamp milkweed does very well in ordinary garden soil.   The pink blossoms are attractive to butterflies, especially monarchs.

3' tall, spacing 2'

3 plants

Purple Coneflower

Echinecea purpurea

Long bloom times and good cut flower.   Prairie plant popular with polinators.  Will probably self seed

36" tall spaced at 20"

5 plants + 2 large plants

Deep Blue lobelia

Lobelia siphilitica "Starship blue"

This lobelia is a cultivar with a flower that is more purple and less blue than the pure species.

2.5' tall, spacing 1.5'

5 plants

Moonshine Yarrow

Achillea 'moonshine'

A rabbit resistant cultivar of a native plant.   The foliage is a bit more silver than the native and its a bit taller - generally more elegant.

2'" tall spaced at 1.5"

3 plants

White Garden Phlox

Phlox paniculata 'David'

Strong summer flowering plants that don't flop and don't get too aggressive.  This is a cultivar of a plant that is native to our south.

24" tall spaced at 2'

3 plants

Pink Garden Phlox

Phlox paniculata 'Flame pink'

Like David this phlox is a cultivar.   This one is bred to be a bit smaller for the front of the border.

1.5" tall spaced at 1.5'

3 plants

Obedient plant

Physostegia virginiana

18" to 36"

spaced at 18"

4 plants

Blue lobelia

Lobelia siphilitica

Cheerful, self seeds.   Nice with other blues and yellows

24" to 36"

spacing 12"

12 plants + 5 large 'Starship blue'

Moonbeam Threadleaf coreopsis  

Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'

This short cheerful cultivar of  an American prairie plant can take full sun and is drought tolerant

1.5' tall spaced at 1'

4 plants

Sunflower everlasting

Heliopsis helianthoides "Lemon Queen'

Tall yellow flowers in the middle of summer.  Will form a large clump.

50" tall spaced at 12"

8 plants + 2 large plants

Double false Sunflower 

Heliopsis helianthoides

This cultivar, like the pure species will bloom nearly all summer.   This one is shorter and showy.

2.5' tall spaced at 1.5'

1 plant

Beeblossom 'Whirling butterflies'

Gaura lindeimeri 'Whirling butterflies'

Gaura starts to bloom in June and keeps going almost to frost.  The flower stems bob and dance with the wind and when bees land on them, which they often do.   Delightful

2.5' tall spaced at 1.5"

3 plants


Penstomen digitalis

Early summer flower spikes with interesting seed heads after

Plant 20" on center

13 plants

Blue vervain

Verbena hastata

Tall deep blue spikes.

48" tall spaced at 30"

12 plants

False Aster

Boltonia asteroides

Tall white flowers that start blooming in late summer when everything else is tired.  Sometimes they flop over but this can be prevented by cutting the in half in early July.

50" tall spaced at 12"

10 plants

Lanceleaf Figwort

Scrophularia lanceolata

Not the showiest of plants but I love them,   They are one of the world's best nectar producers and are very loved by pollinators for that.  They have only recently been available for sale.   They should spread

40" tall spaced at 20"

3 plants

New York aster

Symphyotrichum novi-belgii

The ultimate fall plants of New England - asters.

36" tall spaced at 20"

13 plants

Smooth Blue aster

Symphyotrichum laeve

The ultimate fall plants of New England - asters.

24"" tall spaced at 24"

3 plants