Within a few years of moving to Nantucket in the 1970s, Koon and Cosgrove opened up a hair salon, The Hair Concern. “Creating the woodland garden is a lot like cutting hair,” says Koon. “You keep working at it and then you stop when you know it’s right.”
The woodland terrain was perfect for Koon’s exploratory approach to gardening. Small inclines and depressions set each area off as a vignette distinct from surrounding plantings. “What started out as a path became more involved each week,” says Koon. “We moved slowly, 10 feet at a time as we cleared and planted. We gathered large rocks and boulders from places around the island. I had a friend who gave me ferns from her garden and that started things off nicely.”
The enchanted woodland has been evolving for more than 15 years now and it is still a work in progress. The property is fanciful and sophisticated without being flashy. A large swath of Asian butterbur and bright chartreuse Japanese Aureola grass are visually magnetic. Benches line the paths, prompting contemplative resting places. Brightly colored wooden frames of red and green hang from trees outlining views into one room or another. Classic statuary, country style furniture, fountains, antiques and modernist sculptures—all are placed harmoniously in the natural landscape.