My Coastal Garden
When we moved into our newly built house in 2001, the yard was a virtual sand pit, and the hill behind the house was steep and featureless except for a few scrub pines. Something definitely had to be done!
My husband’s first task was to install a patio off of our kitchen made with paving blocks set in a concrete frame. I then surrounded this patio with with several shrubs, including a Korean Spice Viburnum, chosen because of its heavenly scent, a large clump of zebra grass to anchor the opposite side, five lace cap hydrangeas, several crimson pygmy barberry shrubs because of their warm color, and a large ’President Lincoln’ lilac just outside my kitchen window for its aroma. Among these shrubs I added wide variety of perennials because I wanted to ensure the garden would always have something in bloom throughout the growing season.
We began the transformation of that steep and sandy hill behind our house by building steps from stones that we unearthed on our land. I then added spirea, boxwood, hostas, lady’s mantle, and ornamental grasses to both sides of the steps for symmetry. I also transplanted some tiny birch saplings from our woods to the top of the slope because they have a shallow and spreading root system that I felt would help keep the hill from eroding. Next came five spreading junipers and some ground phlox, again as a guard against erosion. Over the years, I filled in all the empty spots between the shrubs with perennials similar to the ones I planted in my patio garden. making sure I repeated the pattern across the hill so the final look would have a sense of rhythm and harmony.
1 of 8: The hill and patio gardens are their best in June with the azaleas, peonies, catmint, huechera and cranesbill all vying for attention.
2 of 8: Later in the season, the predominant pink and purple colors of June are replaced with varying shades of yellow from coreopsis and daylilies