Rick relaxes with their bichon frise, Baby.Photos by Yvonne Duivenvoorden

Beautifully complementing this hardscaping, Deborah?s foliage palette of lime green, burgundy, black and silver looks spectacular in the brilliant light reflecting off the sea. Since blooming times are haphazard, she can?t rely on getting the perfect perennial flower combinations, so she concentrates on stellar foliage plants.

?But being a plant collector is a real challenge here. It was easier to get a plant through winters in Zone 4 with lots of snow than it is here in Zone 5b. But trying to grow something I?ve never seen before is the biggest thrill,? she says. Recent treasures she hopes will survive include ?Tiger Eyes? sumac, ?Red Majestic? corkscrew hazel, ?Going Bananas? and ?Kopper Kettle? Itoh peonies, ?Avant- Garde? clematis and ?Dart?s Dash? rose.

Rick relaxes with their bichon frise, Baby.