Belgian Beauty

This 1923 Belgian Tudor features English perennial borders and a comfortable space to entertain with a casual, chic style.

Even from the point of view of an average passersby, this house is strikingly unique. An older, European-style abode perched atop a field of verdure. But for the home to truly feel like a picture of fairytale fantasy, the surrounding area needed to feel just as wondrous. The clients were very specific: they wanted English perennial borders and comfortable – yet still casual – spaces to entertain. The team of landscape architects worked jointly to create a sense of privacy on a property in which most of the open space was in front of the building, highly viewable from the street, yet essential to create an entry experience. Equally important to the client was adherence to a rigid budget, a mandate that did nothing to inhibit the potential of the property.

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 The first thing the design team did was to separate the property into four garden rooms, including the front door and drive. A bluestone pathway was added to guide visitors’ eyes upwards, landing upon a vintage wooden door. Cobblestones trail around the side of the house, leading to a gravel terrace lined with wooden gates reminiscent of farmhouse chic. This entertainment terrace contains a casual seating area beside a steel fire bowl and complete with soft-cushioned sofas. A nonchalant dining area sits gracefully in the corner, near a stoop added to restore functionality to two beautiful French doors.

Gardens are present in every area of the property, setting the scene for a romantic, cottagecore atmosphere. Mixed perennial gardens fringe the edges of the rustic fence line and encircle the perimeter.  Yet the main attraction is easily the unique Belgian fences, spaced periodically within small gardens along the front drive. What makes these areas so interesting to onlookers is the usage of espalier pear trees to create a crisscrossing pattern on each panel. The back of the property is home to multiple arborvitaes, layered behind flowering clematis, hydrangeas, and vegetable beds.

From the high isosceles roof, to the beautiful architecture of the house, to the secret children’s play fort concealed behind the trees, this home is riveting. Yet perhaps its most prominent feature is the blanket of English ivy that clings to the front of the house. The location has been transformed into a wonderfully picturesque living space, and a horticulturally rich location for an avid gardener.

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