The original brick patio provides a relaxed sitting area amid lush hostas, chartreuse lady?s mantle and purple-foliaged ninebarks.  Photos by Yvonne Duivenvoorden

And what a property it is: right on the waterfront with staggering sunsets and intoxicating views of the river and Passamaquoddy Bay beyond. But what happens there shouldn?t happen to a plant: perpetual wind, salt air, fog, sea spray and ferocious winters. The property measures 80 by 80 feet, and the garden is built on cribwork and fill (started when the house was constructed in 1937 and completed by the 1970s). ?I feel like I?m gardening on a rooftop since I know the soil is so shallow,? Deborah says. ?Every so often when digging in a new plant, I have to start filling up the hole for fear of a collapse.?

The original brick patio provides a relaxed sitting area amid lush hostas, chartreuse lady?s mantle and purple-foliaged ninebarks.