top of page


Peggy’s previous career as a professional horticulturist and garden designer are serving her well in the development of the gardens at Sundogs. Her 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 insuring year-round interest.

The ever-evolving color filled gardens - situated on 2 acres surrounding the house and patio - provide the perfect setting to relax and unwind. The multiple beds artfully combine a diverse selection of native trees, shrubs, and perennials, creating not only a beautiful garden but much needed habitat to birds and insects. The numerous native plants were selected to serve as larval host plants as well as nectar, and seed sources.
Your first glimpse of the gardens takes place as you enter the parking lot where our Potomac Valley Audubon wildlife designation signs are proudly displayed. Entering through the main gate you journey along the flower-lined walkway. surrounded by pollinator friendly plants of all kinds. In the spring, you will be welcomed by the early blooms of Chionanthus virginicus  (fringe trees), Cercis canadensis (redbuds), Cornus florida (dogwood), Nepeta X faassenii (catmint), Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Firewitch'​​ (dianthus), Paeonia lactiflora (peonies) and several iris species including Iris siberica and Iris versicolor 'Purple Flame'. During the summer months, the entry walk is abuzz with bees and butterflies sipping nectar and dancing on the blooms of the fragrant Magnolia virginiana (sweet bay magnolia), Echinacea purpurea (coneflowers), Coreopsis ‘Zagreb’ (threadleaf tickseed),Lavandula (lavender), Rudbeckia sp. (while the hummingbirds enjoy the Lobelia cardinalis (red cardinal flower), Penstmon digitalis “Huskers Red’ (beardstongue) and Salvia sylvestris (meadow sage). The fall months continue to provide for our pollinators as the Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (aromatic asters), the brilliant Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’ (goldenrod) and Dendranthema ‘Clara-Curtis’ ( hardy Chrysanthemum) put on a show which the native Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ ( little bluestem’) does a great job of complimenting.

As you proceed to the entrance you pass over the dry rock stream and are greeted by of a lush planting of Hydrangea paniculate ‘Little Lime’ and Quickfire (Summer Hydrangeas), Abelia x. Grandiflora 'Rose Creek' (Abelia) and Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum) surrounding the elegant 3-tiered fountain, another huge attraction to our birds, bees, and butterflies. Arriving at the wide steps leading to the expansive front porch please take a moment to enjoy the sights and sounds and take a deep relaxing breath.
The deep 3-sided wrap-around porch is the perfect place to take in the view of the west and north gardens. The gardens create a graceful pallet of color, form, and texture inviting you to appreciate them both from a distance and up close. The overall design creates a seamless transition to the wilder areas beyond the garden gates. The wide paths and open lawn invite you to not only stroll through the gardens but to venture to the farther fields and woodlands.    
Spring starts with an explosion of blooms from Pholx divaricatus (woodland phlox), Iris cristata, Aquilegia canadensis (native columbine), Amsonia hubrichtii (blue star), Amsonia “blue Ice’, Baptissia australis (false indigo), Fothergilla gardenii (witch-alder), Malus ‘Sugar Tyme’ crabapple, Iris siberica (siberian iris) and brilliant Achillea x Coronation Gold (yarrow) and Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'
(dwarf lilacs).

Summer brings on the brightly colored tapestry of Monarda ‘Garden View Scarlet’ (bee balm), Penstemon digitalis (beardstongue), Rudbeckia x ‘Glitters Like Gold’ ( black eyed Susan, Coreopsis ‘Zagreb’ (threadleaf tickseed), Agastache X ( Hyssop), Heliopsis helianthroides (false sunflowers), Eutrochium maculatum
(joe-pye weed) and the hummingbird magnet Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’ (coral honeysuckle).
Autumn gives the native Panicum virgatum (switch grass) the opportunity to dance with their graceful plumes of tiny seeds. The supporting characters are Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’ (goldenrod) Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (aromatic asters), Vernonia X (iron weed), Helianthus (narrow leafed sunflowers), Dendranthemum ‘Clara Curtis’ and the gorgeous fall foliage of Amsonia hubrichtii , Itea virginica ‘Little Henry and Acer rubrum (Red maples).
Lest we think the gardens beauty is all about the plants, in the warmer seasons the real stars are the native birds and insects. The graceful floating and fluttering of hundreds of butterflies, the droning hum of our native fuzzy fat bumble bee, the darting about of the brightly colored goldfinches and eastern bluebirds, the buzzing of the quick and beautiful ruby throated hummingbirds and the evening rise of the fireflies all bring the gardens to life.
Any season is the perfect time to take a stroll with your morning coffee, find a shady seat in the gazebo or on the porch with a good book, or enjoy a glass of wine on the patio listening to the bubbling urn while birdwatching.

bottom of page