Located on 2.9 acres overlooking a secluded cove on Long Island Sound, this unique property offered a multitude of challenges and a diverse range of habitats from coastal salt marsh, to wet woodland ravine and upland rock outcroppings. While the original residence had extensive gardens leading to the water, much of it had suffered from neglect: plants had died or were under pressure from noxious, invasive plants and the masonry work had deteriorated. The original residence was razed and a new residence constructed. The landscape needed to be restored and enhanced to fit the new residence and client program. An overall strategy of editing and subtle additions was applied to the gardens and their surrounding natural woodland environment. The new secluded reading garden at the top of the hillside overlooking the cove has become one of the client’s favorite spaces on the property.
The core garden spaces, from the residence to the water evolved into ornamental gardens: walls and steps were restored and added where appropriate and salvaged plants were supplemented with species that reflected the spirit of the original design. Several new small garden spaces were inserted along the woodland perimeter. In addition to the main gardens, the woodland gardens along the perimeter of the property were planted with more native ferns and groundcovers. New gardens were designed along the main access to the water and along the stream. A new pergola was designed to overlook both the nearby water and the woodland ravine.
Through careful restoration of existing elements and site sensitive insertions, this landscape has evolved over time into a cohesive collection of gardens reflecting the broad range of conditions on the property. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape and the original garden design, the gardens today invite the client to a connective experience with their natural landscape.