Peggy’s previous career as a professional horticulturist and garden designer are serving her well in the development of the gardens at Sundogs. Her and David’s love and respect for nature show in the lovely animal- and pollinator-friendly gardens taking shape around the property. Allowing nature to guide the master plan by working within the natural diversity of the native landscape comprised of rolling fields, beautiful native trees (including the pawpaw), and natural rock outcroppings, the new plantings flow seamlessly with the existing landscape enhancing rather than overshadowing its natural beauty. Great care goes into plant selections that will support diverse bird species and pollinators including native bees and butterflies while also providing year round interest.
Entry Drive- As soon as you turn into our driveway your journey begins. After clearing out acres of invasive trees, vines and shrubs we were able to start adding more native trees and shrubs back to the natural landscape including serviceberry, dogwoods, red buds, American hornbeam, fringe trees, red maples, northern red oaks, sugar maples, black gum trees, witch hazel, viburnums, fothergilla and winterberry hollies. Our goal is to diversify the existing native plantings as much as possible to provide a more diverse habitat for a wide range of native birds, animals and insects. When you visit be sure to keep on eye on the five sugar maples lining the driveway for bluebird sightings, it is one of their favorite perching spots. In 2019 trees near the parking lot we found ourselves hosting several nesting Baltimore oriole families. We are hoping they found their accommodations acceptable and will return year after year.
Entry Walk Gardens- The gardens that greet you as you approach the front door are abuzz with activity during the warmer seasons with butterflies and native pollinators flittering through the bountiful blooming perennials, shrubs and trees. The 100’ long butterfly walk is lined with numerous long-blooming perennials including Nepeta, Salvia, Coreopsis, Dianthus, Lavender and Echinacea to name a few. You will be soothed by the delightful sounds of the nearby fountain as your eyes gaze upon the colorful plantings of roses, hydrangeas, weigela and viburnums. Native trees such as river birch, American hornbeam, Virginia cedars and flowering dogwoods help with the year round interest and wildlife habitat. Enjoy this butterfly filled enchanted garden from the garden bench or while enjoying the cool breeze from the fans on the covered front porch.
North Porch- The plantings below the north facing screened porch were selected specifically for their serene color pallet of green shades and white, and for their adaptation to a shadier site. A delightful mix of hydrangeas, ferns, deutzia, iris, and fragrant clethra add to the seasonal interest.
North Beds- The two large open beds in the north lawn area serve as a transition between the more formal design and the natural surroundings beyond. They are comprised of a diverse mix of both native and non-native plants. Pollinator-friendly perennials such as native Baptissia, Echinacea, Amsonia, Asters and Hyssop keep the butterflies, bees and praying mantis happy while native panicum grasses provide for our seed-eating birds. ‘Natchez’ crape myrtles, river birch and redbud trees provide perching and foraging sites for Fly Catchers, Indigo Buntings and Carolina Wrens.
Patio Garden- The 1000 square foot patio located off of the west porch featuring colorful seasonal planters is flanked on three sides by perennial gardens. The perennial borders are planted with a seductive array of blooms including irises, peonies, roses, coreopsis, baptisia, echinacea, and spring bulbs. It is separated from the Kitchen Garden by custom-built trellises sporting native coral honeysuckle chosen specifically for the hummingbirds.
Kitchen garden- The vegetable and herb garden will be as beautiful as it will be delicious. It will provide a large array of fresh herbs, spring greens, runner beans and cutting flowers. All our produce will be grown using sustainable earth friendly practices and you will be welcome to visit your food up close. The kitchen garden, where productivity-meets-style, is proof that food plants deserve a center stage of their own.
The 2500 square foot vegetable garden will be responsible for providing both the owners and guests with a bountiful assortment of fruits and vegetables. Melons, asparagus, squash, potatoes, beets, beans, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and Asian pears will call this place home. All of our food will be grown using sustainable earth-friendly practices. This garden will not generally be open to our guests, though if requested we are happy to give you a tour and even provide some hands-on garden training.