Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coastal Plant Palette

Little Compton, Rhode Island, not to be confused with Compton, LA, is a beautiful
fairy land with swans on a salty pond, big waves, an historic lighthouse, and little cottages placed on top of rocky cliffs. Thanks to my Great Aunt Mary we're able to stay in one of these little cottages every summer for one week. What a week! The sound of the waves at night mixed with the crickets is so beautiful as are the wild roses and twisted bayberry shrubs that survive the constant breeze from the ocean. The plants that grow in this part of the world truly make me happy (except for the Japanese Honeysuckle, Russian Olive, and a few other thugs taking everything over). The birds also seemed happy to have the plants; there was a wet meadow full of blooming Joe Pye Weed and Hibiscus that teemed with birds, butterflies, and insects all day and night. Yellow Finches would perch on cattail reeds, Swallows would swoop down for an insect and then return to the sky.

Some of my favorites are the Beach Pea Lathyrus japonicus

It's amazing how it can grow in pure sand and bloom with so little water.

The Bayberry Myrica pensyvanica has crisp leaves and dense foliage. Many gardens had old Bayberries as their specimen tree in the middle of their lawn. It has lovely bark and an elegant, ghost like form.

the Shining Rose Rosa nitida (I think...)

Here are some more pictures of the landscape....