The East Greenwich, Rhode Island,
property had a rustic, woodsy quality
that the homeowner adores.
Samantha Best’s goal was to
enhance — and not disturb — that
natural beauty. Working with what
was already growing among the
cedar trees, she primarily added
native, shade-loving plants.
To create balance, ecologically
and aesthetically, she chose ground
covers (yellow star, foam flower);
shrubs (Calycanthus, Leucothoe,
mountain laurel); ferns (maidenhair,
Christmas); and blooms (columbine)
that would not only grow well in the
predominant conditions, but also
improve the soil itself.
A few nonnative, noninvasive
plantings were added, including
lupine, grown from seeds that were a
gift to the client from her sister.
The result is a landscape that
appears as if it evolved without
human intervention alongside the
Goshen stone path, boulders, and
cottage. This is the ultimate
intention of Magma Design Group’s
husband-and-wife team, who have
developed a presentation for garden
clubs and industry groups that they
call “Stems and Stones: A Love
Story,” which describes how plants
and stonework come together to
create beautiful ecosystems.
Call it a case of art imitating life.
design decision Stems and Stones