1. A fresh paint combo packs a big design punch. Northern Home & Cottage art director Diane Kolak paired Guacamole and Fling Green from Pittsburgh Paints for this head-turner. Northwood Paint, Traverse City. 947-8522, northwoodpaint.com.

2. Nothing says cottage like a white picket garden gate. Imagine your home with the Archtop Picket Gate, $550 from pacificgateworks.com.

3. Thin stone is real stone, just sliced skinny so it goes up walls with no footings or wall ties – and for less money. Priced comparably to high-end cultured stone. Shown here: Chilton stone from Cherryland Cut Stone in Traverse City. 231-947-6096, cherrylandcutstone.com.

4. A vintage solid copper mailbox outfitted with nostalgic newspaper brackets turns fetching the daily into a beautiful morning ritual. $209. themetalpeddler.com.

5. Go native in your yard with a pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia). This eastern U.S. species flowers
in fat, white clusters. Like all true Northerners, the pagoda thrives around naturally wooded areas. We found ours at Crystal Gardens in Frankfort. 231-352-9321, crystalgardensm22.com.

Green IdeaGo native in your yard with these Northern plants.

GroundcoverBearberry or Kinnickinick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursiNeeds: Sandy soil, no watering. Grows naturally in the dunes.

Flowering ShrubArrowwood Viburnum
Viburnum dentatumNeeds: Well-drained soil, full sun.

Small TreeEastern Redbud
Cercis canadensisNeeds: Not much – it’s drought-tolerant and likes a variety of soils.

Elizabeth Edwards is managing editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.lissa@traversemagazine.com

Note: This article was first published in May 2007 and was updated for the web February 2008.