Landscapes of the Month: Creating a Paradise in Nature - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Landscapes of the Month: Creating a Paradise in Nature

Photo: Anthony Crisafulli Photography

Located in Middletown, Rhode Island, is a historic farmhouse and studio built in 1870 and used by a famous 19th-century stained glass artist and painter. For this property, the client wanted a cohesive landscape with endless horticultural diversity and to express a generational appreciation for nature.

Photo: Anthony Crisafulli Photography

The clients are incredibly passionate about plants and avid gardeners, and it’s the client’s devotion to the naturalized environment and desire to create a home for multiple generations of families that inspired the excellent work done throughout project construction.

Due to the difficulty of the project, the client hired Landscape Creations, based in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, to take on the project. Landscape Creations earned a Gold Award in the 2022 Awards of Excellence.

The main challenge presented by existing conditions was enhancing the site while preserving the native ecosystems. The property slopes down to an intermittent stream that runs through it, which required careful protection from muddy work site and a complete renovation to make sure that silt would not compromise it or accumulate.

Silt fencing wattles for erosion control and timber matting were some of the controls employed to temporarily divert runoff to designated locations. Runoff from the roof and hardscape areas was directed to rain gardens, which provide naturalized areas of seasonal color as well as to intercept surface flow directed at the stream.

When addressing these issues, the landscape scope called for the complete restoration of three acres to be implemented over several years.

Photo: Anthony Crisafulli Photography

The lawn and hardscape were substantially redone to include expansive English gardens, beautiful stone walls incorporating salvaged stone from the home’s previous foundation, and a new chimney at the poolside crafted from native stone. A reoriented curving pea stone driveway and a new tapestry hedge at the front of the home can provide more privacy and an improved aesthetic.

Transplanted material included a Japanese maple, large European beech, weeping cherry, several large arborvitaes, and dozens of shrubs and perennials. The privet hedge along the street was replaced with a tapestry hedge consisting of a mix of native shrubs.

Extensive perennial and rose gardens had been created for Landscape Creations’ clients to enjoy through each season and to provide a bountiful harvest of cut flowers; the gardens consist of over one thousand individual plants and hundreds of plant varieties.

During project execution, some difficulties that had been encountered included the precise coordination and sequencing with the general contractor, which was required to ensure minimal disruption to the homeworkers who occupied the studio structure on the project through its construction.

Interested in participating in the Awards of Excellence? Be sure to enter your projects by July 10, 2023.