A Tranquil Lakeside Retreat
This program is the first of two site visits this year to the private landscapes of veteran RIWPS members. These visits are open to members only, as a special thanks for their support and in many cases, countless volunteer hours. Our first visit is to the garden of Karen Asher, a past president of RIWPS.
Travel down a dirt road though wetlands, woods, and meadow to the Asher homestead in West Kingston. Nestled alongside Barbers Pond, this property is a place of serenity, where nature-based gardening with native Rhode Island plants is the emphasis. Karen has a certificate in Native Plant Studies from the New England Wildflower Society has spoken to numerous audiences about the value of native plants in the landscape and has also written articles about native plants.
Her garden is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat and has been planted with pollinator-friendly flowers, shrubs, and trees. It is protected from pesticides to provide valuable habitat for bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators. The philosophy of the garden is to give back to nature. Compost is generated onsite and a rain barrel provides supplemental water.
When the Ashers built their Arts and Crafts-style house 15 years ago, they wanted to merge home with woodland through a series of layered gardens. The stone foundation, patios, paths and seating walls all work together to ground the structures to the landscape. Beneath a canopy of oak, maple and pine, several stone sculptures provide artistic focal points.
Dappled shady areas are filled with a variety of native ferns and perennials such as bloodroot, trillium, and Solomon’s seal among many others. Where sun peeks through, borders of butterfly weed, wild Geranium, ironweed, and amsonia mix with select ornamentals.
Don’t miss the secret garden just north of the house. A sunken Asian-inspired meditation space awaits you. It features the Hindu Goddess of Compassion, Guanyin, surrounded by a spiraling mosaic of indigenous moss and stone.
Be inspired to include more native plants in your landscape.
There is a limit of 12 persons for this program. We recommend you register early.
Note: A few days before the site visit registrants will be sent an e mail with the directions for this site visit.
Advance Registration Required