Today we’re visiting the garden of husband and wife Tim Boland (a botanist) and Laura Coit (a designer).
Here are some pictures of our home garden on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. It is a drought-tolerant garden amid an oak forest where the soil lacks organic matter. We garden on composted soil built up over 16 years. We have selected plants for their ability to grow in the tough conditions of sandy soil and intense island winds. The design is a modern take on a cottage garden, with an ecological approach to plant selection. As a result, several island seed-grown natives are used in combination with nonnative but highly adaptable perennials and grasses.
Pictured here, and capturing the late-day light, is the gravel path entry to our home. It is flanked by Nassella tenuissima (Zones 5–10), Baptisia tinctoria (Zones 3–9), Aquilegia canadensis (Zones 3–8), Stachys ‘Helene von Stein’ (Zones 4–8), Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies’ (Zones 3–8), and a liberal dose of island-grown Asclepias tuberosa (Zones 4–10).
A monarch butterfly caterpillar munches on Asclepias incarnata (Zones 3–8) which, despite its common name of swamp milkweed, is happy in wet or drier soil.
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) of course is a great host plant for monarch butterflies, but it is also just incredibly beautiful.
Butterfly weed and hybrid coneflowers (Echinacea hybrids, Zones 5–9) make a fiery combination of colors and great food for native insects.
This combination of mountain mint (Pycnanthemum sp., Zones 4–8) backed by amsonia (Amsonia hubrichtii, Zone 5 – 8) looks great now and will only get better in the fall as the amsonia takes on its wonderful yellow fall color.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
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