In only four short years, on Summerhill Drive in Southampton, Gary
and Cheryl Gray have created not only an environmental oasis for birds
and butterflies, but it was planned to require the absolute minimum in
maintenance and water.
The front yard is filled with a wide variety of drought resistant plants
and the butterfly bushes attract their namesake. Walking around toward
the back of the house, hosta of every hue line the side bed along with a
climbing rose of fuschia pink.
The back yard can only be described as a natural woodland haven. Here
the Grays have chosen not to fight with nature but to get along with
her. A steep hill has been transformed into perennial plantings and a
stone pathway leads down a cool glade where, again, hosta thrive in the
dappled sunlight and shade.
"At the bottom of the hill, it is all bog," explains Cheryl Gray. "So
we created what appear to be dry river beds of rock so that when there's
run-off from the hill it simply passes through the stone. We planted a
willow that likes its 'feet' wet and, other than that, we just let the
land blend into the natural greenspace at the border of the yard. We
did however, put up a new concept in deer fence because they were eating
everything." The fence Gray talks about is almost invisible except for
a yellow plastic ribbon threaded through it in order to know where it is
so that it doesn't detrace from the view of the natural greenspace.
A front yard that's home to birds and butterflies
Hosta like the cool shady glade
Dry river beds of stone until it rains