The Dirt

Plant ID’s – Creating an Illusion of Space


Excerpt from Marcia Chapman's rticle from Fine Gardening Issue #174

Land is somewhat hard to come by in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, so when gardeners Marcia and George Chapman stumbled upon a half acre plot with plenty of potential, they jumped at the opportunity. But the couple worried: Would this small property be able to satisfy a lifetime of plant addiction? Over the past 33 years, they've skillfully employed several tactics to make the garden feel bigger than it actually is. Visitors now think they are wandering around a 5-acre lot and the Chapmans always delight in telling them that, no, its just the largest half acre on Cape Cod.





1. Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium, USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9)

2. 'Matrona' sedum (Sedum telephium 'Matrona', Zones 3 to 8)

3. 'Sum and Substance' hosta (Hosta 'Sum and Substance', Zones 3 to 8) 

4. 'Blue Angel' hosta (Hosta 'Blue Angel', Zones 3 to 8)

5. 'Cabaret' maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis* var. condensatus 'Cabaret', Zones 5 to 9)

6. Common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea, Zones 4 to 8)

7. Wintercreeper euonymus (Euonymus coloratus*, Zones 4 to 9)

8. Rosemary willow (Salix elaeagnos, Zones 5 to 8)

9. 'Sagae' hosta (Hosta 'Sagae', Zones 3 to 8)

10. Deodar cedar (Cedrus deodora, Zones 7 to 8)

*InvasiveAlert: These plants are considered invasive in some areas of the country. Please visit for more information.


1. Fringed bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia, Zones 3 to 9)

2. Fragrant hosta (Hosta plantaginea, Zones 3 to 8)

3. 'Fink Fizz' heucherella (Heucherella 'Pink Fizz', Zones 4 to 9)

4. 'Patriot' hosta (Hosta 'Patriot', Zones 3 to 8)

5. 'Elegans' hosta (Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans', Zones 3 to 8)

6. Cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, Zones 3 to 9)

7. 'Mount Airy' fothergrilla (Fothergilla "Mount Airy', Zones 5 to 8)

8. 'Pink Whisper' daylily (Hemerocallis 'Pink Whisper', Zones 3 to 10)

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