In order to reveal the latent beauty of a varied landscape consisting of wet meadows, rock outcroppings, and stands of mature canopy trees, we decided to clear the overgrown and invasive vegetation on this 11-acre property in upstate New York. The newly exposed natural features provided the framework for an integrated site design that weaves a new series of structured garden spaces into the existing landscape.
A fluid landscape sequence begins at the entry drive and carries through to the individual gardens. Linear stonewalls highlight the contrast between the natural and built landscape throughout the new garden spaces. At the pool and cabana, they create an edge while channeling views to the existing pond and meadow. At the croquet lawn, the wall restrains the adjacent edge of a meadow and reinforces the lawn as a geometric counterpoint to the surrounding woodlands.
Within the gardens themselves, we used bold masses of low-maintenance plants and gentle contouring of the topography to create defined edges that seem to dissolve into the surrounding landscape. Breaks in these edges provide carefully controlled vistas that create cohesion between one space and the next, ultimately unifying the property as a whole.
Collaborators: Leonard Woods Architect and Orrick & Company