Garden description: On a relatively typical in-town beach lot (52-feet wide by 145-feet deep), we combine more than 200 native plants with popular non-native favorites, like Boxwoods and Daisies, to create a garden that offers year-round visual enjoyment while providing habitat for local wildlife. We created deep, curving beds surrounding a lawn and installed layered groupings of shrubs and perennials to keep the garden visually ordered and tidy. We also preserved a modest grass lawn for dogs and play.
Who are the gardeners: Just me.
Why do you garden: For the joy of bending and stretching and getting dirty and then having something wonderful happen. For the joy of seeing the fruit of my effort as I look at my garden from inside my house. For the feeling of having done something for others when neighbors tell me how much they enjoy my garden. For knowing I get to do it all over again next year.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: At a time when the footprint of our lives has been reduced to our cottage and yard, our garden has been an essential living space that we use every single day. The comfort of familiar plants, the hopefulness of watching wildlife and the evolution of nature, the enjoyment of getting lost in beauty and colors. Our garden is an essential extension of our house and a place of respite, enrichment and calm during troubling times.
What do you have in your garden? With such a large number of plants in a small space, especially native plants (eight trees, 46 shrubs, 143 native perennials) mixed with non-native trees and shrubs, we think our garden is a good demonstration of using native plants while maintaining a “landscaped” look for a residential yard. Standout plants for us this season include Virginia Sweetspire, Clethra, Viburnum, Bottlebrush Buckeye, Serviceberry, switch grass, Joe Pye Weed and ‘Blue Fortune’ Agastache.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Thankfully, no problems with disease or pests. Native plants tend to be lower maintenance and more tolerant of our region’s culture and conditions.

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