Case Study: Marsh Buffer

When Patricia and Richard Smith built their home in 2001, they left 125 feet of land between the house and the water’s edge. A beautifully landscaped yard of native forest vegetation and perennial gardens gradually gives way to a 75-foot natural buffer of previously existing wild blueberries, rugosa roses, carpet juniper and oak trees, a fringe of marsh, and the sea. Buffer maintenance is little more than pruning the bottom third of the oak trees to reveal the ocean view and pulling invasive species that may appear among the blueberries. The couple learned many of their gardening principles and skills through the Master Gardener Program offered through University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Cost: $0, except time for weeding and pruning.