Landscape by Terrain: An Evolving Estate Garden


A longterm collaboration for Landscape by Terrain, the home and gardens above were built in the 1990s by a young family, drawing inspiration from traditional country estates. As the family has evolved over the years, the look and feel of the landscape has also changed with the help of our landscape experts, blending indoor and outdoor spaces while providing welcoming places to gather. We recently caught up with two members of the team-- Fine Gardening Manager Greg O. and Installation Designer Matt M.-- to learn how this updated garden came to life.

Greg tells us, "We've installed this landscape incrementally over several years. The client has impeccable taste and has been very involved in the plant choices; all of terrain's  landscape and design teams have also collaborated to make sure the garden is a success. Landscape by Terrain did the design and installation, while Fine Gardening has cared for the garden, making sure it maintains its integrity as it matures. Finally, Matt came in from Design by Terrain to style portions of the interior, plant exterior containers, and add garden accessories."

Some elements of the landscape were dictated by practical concerns. There's no irrigation on the property and an abundance of deer, so plant choices had to be made thoughtfully. Greg says, "This landscape is a study in texture and color. So much of a garden is appreciated through the feelings that it evokes. Plant materials and hardscape choices create subconcious responses; though often not articulated, they are the very things that help us feel at ease in an environment. For example, natural wood gives a sense of warmth, home and comfort. Natural stone surfaces speak to stability and timelessness. A carefully chosen mix of these with a purposeful palette of plants has made this landscape inviting and truly restful." 

Organized as a connected series of outdoor rooms, the landscape remains soft and welcoming throughout. The Drive Court invites visitors in with soft grasses and spheres in the center circle. Lavender lantana and Verbena boniarensis set the color palette, introducing a wispy wildflower theme that continues throughout the property. Sweeps of ornamental grasses, and perennials such as Amsonia hubrechtii, Calomentha nepatoides, and Cariopteris link the different spaces and add soft movement with the slightest breeze.

Once the landscape installation was complete, Matt put the finishing touches on the home and garden with indoor styling and planted containers. He says, "I worked to contrast the formality of the home with materials that were softer, more approachable, and more unexpected. I removed some traditional, wrought iron urn pairings and clipped holly hedges, then created mass meadow groupings and asymmetrical entryway plantings. This tension brings the exterior of the house to life and allows for a fluid use of natural materials inside, too. The naturalized plantings play so beautifully off the stone exterior of the home."

Greg adds, "Gardens are dynamic and ever-changing; this landscape will continue to be edited and updated as it matures. Certain plants have not performed well and have been replaced, while others that we considered rather experimental have surprised us by performed marvelously. That's the very thing that makes gardening so rewarding."

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