Family Retreat

An ambitious natural -filtration pool project uses twenty-first century technology to create an outdoor oasis that looks like it’s always been, while providing family recreation all season long.

Landscaping is not always obvious. While crisp boxwoods and manicured tree lines are endlessly popular, they are not the only styles that exterior design has to offer. Often a landscape design will focus on accentuating natural beauty using specialized gardens. In this project, such methods were employed to recreate the bliss of a countryside vacation for a growing, multigenerational family. To realize their vision, the design would need to diverge from organized rows of flowers, calling instead for a much subtler touch.

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The approach to the home is guarded by ornamental flowering trees like magnolias and tree lilacs, through which a driveway winds, unhurried through the apple orchard and up to the drive court lined in deciduous hedges. The house itself is adorned with a sophisticated assortment of trees, plants, and shrubs, partially obscuring a garden path envisaged with cobbled bluestone steppers. A backdrop of boxwood clouds, Russian sage, coral bells, and plantain lilies fill the space up to the rustic garden fence. A casual park bench offers a place to stay and enjoy the ethereal scenery.

Beyond the fence is a magnificent vista overlooking the new pond created behind the house – a natural filtration system keeps the waters clear and clean. The descending grading converts the space around the home into the perfect vantage point, where visitors can watch the open waters give way to marshland plantings before merging into a dense grove of trees. The spaces beyond reveal a prairie as it takes shape along the fringes of the property. Autumn maple, white pine, and golden cypress trees are sprinkled along the border, the spaces between filled with forsythia, spirea, and serviceberries.

The informal approach to the landscape creates beautiful vistas that employ natural beauty to create a variety of activities for the active family. The large lawn promises exciting outdoor games; the pond, a space to swim; the orchard, apples to pick in the fall. The specialized gardens have created a deceptively casual backdrop to a residential area, the kind that ignites the imagination with dreams of the rural frontier.

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