After 16 years at Wild Holly Lane, my husband and I decided it was time to to downsize. Leaving behind our mature garden was a hard decision, but it was also an opportunity to create an entirely new garden built on the foundation of the gardening knowledge I have accumulated in the past decades.
We started with a blank slate. It was an old, badly neglected house; hidden behind a forest of end-of-life white pines and amid a sea of invasive plants. But it was also a gem of a site: an acre and a half on a scenic road. The front of the property was a gently sloping lot. The back acre was wetlands with vernal pools and a brook. We tore down the old house and put up our ‘dream retirement house’, then removed 947 cubic yards of ‘builder’s crud’ and replaced it with a like amount of loam.
My goal was to establish a pollinator-friendly garden that would be easy to maintain. Apart from what I call some ‘friendly aliens’ (hosta and bulbs), the garden is all native, with a focus on seasonally blooming trees and shrubs. Another goal was to demonstrate that a house without a lawn can be even more beautiful than one with grass. Thus, the half acre that comprises our front garden has no turf of any kind; only ground covers and mulch… plus twelve specimen trees, sixty-plus shrubs, several hundreds perennials, and 3400 (and counting) bulbs.
It is also a an opportunity to employ environmental sensitivity. The driveway is fully permeable crushed rock. Four rain barrels capture roof rainwater, and overflow goes directly to the wetlands behind us via underground pipe.
It is a garden than will grow and mature. In this spring of 2017, it is just two years old. The hardscape is in, but the landscaping will be a work-in-progress for several years to come. Please plan to visit this page often as the garden grows.