This newly constructed home in Hingham, MA was designed to openly embrace the seashore landscape surrounding it. The front entrance has a relaxed elegance with a classic plant theme of boxwood, hydrangea and grasses.
The back opens to beautiful views of the harbor, with a terraced patio running the length of the house. The infinity pool blends seamlessly with the water landscape and splashes over the wall into the weir below. Planting beds break up the expanse of paving and soften the outdoor living spaces.
The sculpture, made by a personal friend of the family, creates a stunning focal point with the open sky and sea behind.
One side of the property was densely planted with large Spruce, Juniper and Birch on top of a 7' berm to provide instant privacy. Hokonechloa grass weaves its way around Annabelle Hydrangeas and Flower Carpet Roses
The other side had an existing stone stairway which was enhanced with a grove of Birch, hydrangea and Hakone grass.
The Limelight Tree Hydrangeas and Boxwood offer a fresh welcome, while the Miscanthus grasses add a casual touch.
The Stone wall and patio create a resting spot between rounds of tennis. The granite steps in the lawn allow for a comfortable transition up a steeper slope.
This antique farmhouse with ancient barns is updated into a sophisticated landscape with many layers of elegant spaces and unique elements. The view towards the swimming pool is framed by tall arborvitaes in a nod to classic Tuscany.
The classic patio off the back of the house is surrounded by clean lines of Yew hedges, Birches and Boxwoods, with waves of Hellebore and Japanese Forest Grass in the foreground.
The arc of the patio provides a soft contrast to the strict geometry of the surrounding framework, offering a sense of intimacy and seclusion near the house.
The fresh blue of the pool stands out amongst the formal structure of the greenery, while the white urns create a crisp contrast in shape and texture. The deck cantilevers out over a slope, where guests can view the terraces below.
Looking back from the pool to the house, the lines are clean and classic.
Layers of vertical hedges are punctuated by upright Arborvitaes and Birch clumps.
As one steps away from the pool area, the cascading tiers of boxwood hedges glide down the slope, wrapping around the cantilevered deck.
This original stone wall set the tone for creating larger terraces along the sloped back yard, while the new set of stairs offers an alternative way to access the lower tier.
Here the wedge shape of the wall and the sloping boxwood hedges create a dynamic diagonal line among the linear profile of the deck and level surfaces. The bottom stone wall was built to match the existing rustic farm wall, finishing the cascade of terraces toward the lower lawn.
The view looking back up the hillside shows the entire interplay of shapes and textures, counterbalanced by the elegant vase shape of the Dogwood tree.
This landscape in Norwell, MA is based on the this painting, Arch and Point, by Kandinsky, and is an example of my process called Art Garden. This is a process where I study the work of an artist or a specific work of art and apply those elements and principles to create a three-dimensional expression of that art.
Red arch – Conrete sitting wall
Blue circle – black fire pit on stones
Brown triangle – brown deck
Long black line – line of Crab Apple trees
Yellow circles – lemon thyme
Red triangles – red shrub roses
Checkerboard – square pavers
Wavy lines – ornamental grasses
The red arching wall offers a high contrast backdrop to the sculptural fire pit, which is a cast iron sugar kettle from South Carolina. It’s rim sits on top of two of the boulders, while fitting into a notch of the third boulder, creating an asymmetrical, funky balance, typical of Kandinsky’s work.
The swirling shape of the front stones gives the composition a sense of movement, while the variegated Sedum offer a structural contrast to the red wall, and can tolerate the hot dry microclimate of stone mulch and the concrete wall.
Boulders excavated from the site during the construction of the house were used for this diagonal staircase, which flows up through the long line of Spring Snow Crabapples. Therip-rappy stone wall is a jumble of wild nature among the clean lines of the modern patio area. Red Carpet Roses, Pennisetum Hameln, and Lemon Thyme pop up between the stones.
The checkerboard pattern is continued behind the house with the square planting beds, back door deck landing, and recessed hot tub. The Japanese Maple breaks up the expanse of pavers and divides the different areas of the patio in a subtle way. See how elegant the stone stairs look in contrast with the clean geometric lines?
These clients wanted a landscape that had a sense of flow, of unfolding, of mysteries revealed. They love art and were open to ideas beyond the traditional themes, and so the swirls and circles of artist Sonia Delaunay, became the inspiration for this gorgeous coastal property in Cohasset, MA.
The painting Composition with Discs, by Sonia Delaunay became the inspiration for this garden. The concentric circles in rhythmic patterns really captured the dynamic feeling the clients were looking for.
Along the entire length of the house we made a sweeping serpentine stone wall that swerves around like a great dragon tail.
Notice how the paved landing is repeating the theme of shapes in the doorway. The circle of bluestone has specially chosen brown pieces to mimic the wooden blocks around the circle in the doorway. They also have a rippling texture, which is reminiscent of the shallow tide waters near their home.
These rippling circles and echoing arcs become the serpentining stone wall, round patio entrance and swirling plant beds, while the yellow, blues and greens inspire the plant palette. The deep beds are filled with Euphorbia, Lavender, Geranium, Coreopsis, Salvia and Hakonechloa grass. They sing with blues, purples, and yellows that the homeowners love.
At the far end of the serpentine wall we created a sculptural element with a large boulder we unearthed when excavating. I had the idea to repeat the circle theme pre-existent in the front door, so a hole was drilled in the boulder, creating a strong focal point and a unifying theme . The Japanese Maple, which was moved from another part of the property, balanced the strong composition perfectly.
Lavender, Coreopsis and "Soft Touch" hollies create a contrast of form and texture with the stone wall and Japanese Maple.
Plant forms create a sculptural sense of space as they interact with the structure of the stone wall.
As one walks throughout the spaces, some viewpoints have a simple composition, such as this one with Hakonechloa grass and Japanese Maples, offering a moment of simplicity and calm.
A granite bench sits between two cherry trees with a stunning view of the harbor.
The entrance to the house meanders up this curving stone staircase, where surrounding plants act as a threshold one passes through before entering the more open space at the top.
The gazebo, with its columns that echo the shape of the tree trunks, is surrounded by shaggy grasses and views of the harbor.
Swaths of native plants surround the property, offering bright colors for the homeowners and habitat for the birds, bees and butterflies.
Olde Maine in Cohasset
When my clients purchased this historic house, they saw that this garden held great potential, even though the property had been somewhat neglected. They wanted the new landscape to evoke the feeling of an Olde Maine house that time had forgotten. Sitting on the front veranda in the shade of the treasured Horse Chestnut and Maple trees that flank each side of the house, we explored the possibilities together.
The front yard sloped a bit too much for comfort, so we determined that building a stone wall in the middle would create a terrace, making both parts of the lawn more usable. Visions of parties and children's weddings came to mind. We put a set of elegant arching steps in the middle, leading down to the sunken garden.
Large, mature Rhododendrons were planted at the base of the Horse Chestnut and Maple trees just off the front veranda. Boxwoods undulate beneath the trees with Vinca as a ground cover.
Ticonderoga stone was used for the walls and steps, which was the closest match to the existing stone foundation. The exquisite masonry by Doug Brooks Masonry makes this staircase as elegant as a tiered wedding cake.
It turned out to be the perfect setting for a party!
The side entrance has a courtyard feeling, as its outlined with stone walls and accented with containers set on pea stone.
The front veranda is furnished with comfortable pieces and simple ferns, where they sit in the shade, watching sunsets on the harbor.
Curving stone walls terrace the land and create space for a parking court of macadam.
A riot of perennials offer a beautiful foreground to the views of the harbor.
This elegant property in Cohasset, MA has gorgeous views of the harbor, with sweeping stone walls that terrace the land. Since the house was a warm beige, I felt a bold red would really bring it to life, mixed with burgundy foliage and large, dramatic grasses. Red Carpet Roses glow in contrast with the Gold Mop Cypress and rich-toned Japanese Maple. Together they create enough drama and weight to balance the large stone walls and grand house.
The lower terrace offers a seating area tucked among the flowers to gaze at the harbor. How easy it is to get lost in this melange of blooms.
The graceful limbs of the birch are sheer poetry against the sweeping lines of stone walls and boxwood. The whole scene is loosened up with hydrangeas, roses, and this stunning little variegated Dogwood in the lower left corner.
The swimming pool and spa are tucked away along the ledge in the private back yard area. The dark blue pool offers a rich contrast to the colorful blooms nearby.
A long border of woodland plants creates a mosaic of colors and textures, as well as a healthy ecosystem for plant communities and wildlife.
In spring, the hillside is lush with cool hued blooms
Foxtail Fern and Swedish Ivy
This family had just moved back to the states from Paris and wanted their new home in Hingham, MA to be an evocative blend of France and Nantucket. The front was to stay low to preserve views of the harbor, yet full of color and a touch of beach grass.
In spring the riot of color is contained within the granite stone walls, while the backdrop stays a simple mix of greens and burgundy foliage
Rounding the corner toward the back yard is a dramatic hedge of Miscanthus gracilimus and PG Hydrangea, with a touch of Calamagrostis to caress your arm as you pass through the gate to the swimming pool.
The pool area is a subtle blue color scheme, with a lush perennial border along the back of the property. Hydrangea Tardiva and a magnificent crabapple tree provide the basic structure, with billowing waves of Sedum, Anemone and coreopsis flowing at their feet.
These clients in Cohasset, MA wanted a lush, colorful and playful landscape to match their colorful personalities. Both being artistic types, they favored strong, bold color combinations and went for the striking mix of red, orange and yellow that I thought would be stunning with the sunshine color of their house. Henry's Red Rhododendron and Golden Lights Azalea set the tone in spring. while bold hydrangeas and lush grasses, punctuated with red Carpet Roses and orange day lilies carry the color scheme through the summer.
To buffer the house from the busy street, we alternated shaggy Juniper Seagreen and structured Shamrock holly, with a lacy weeping willow to anchor the corner of the property. A ground cover of Vinca has held up well to salty roadside conditions.
Between the house and the driveway is a Rain Garden, which captures rainwater from the downspouts to prevent flooding and ice build-up in the winter. The Verbena, Pennisetum and Hosta are happy in the stone mulch, which is also a great spot for accenting containers.
“Amy is a great human being and an 'artist' when it comes to landscaping.”
— Linda, Cohasset, MA
A charming trellis frames the view of this side entrance to a back yard paradise along a creek.
The variegated tree shimmering in the shade among the woodland ground covers is Wolf Eyes Dogwood.
This terrace is the perfect place to relax and gaze on a landscape inspired by the Tuscan countryside. Warm coral, burgundy and blue hues remind this couple of their regular pilgrimages to Tuscany. They wanted to recreate their vision back home in Cohasset, MA
A small Patio off the back door is the perfect place for their morning coffee, while watching the sunrise and the chickens roam about. The path meanders among woodland plants down toward the dining patio.
A series of circular terraces cascade down the hillside, offering several comfortable spaces for outdoor living with their large family. Their beautiful Golden Retriever keeps watch over the property, while they enjoy a glass of wine around the wood-burning fire pit.
The 'Tuscan Garden' is brimming with perennials that evoke their travels to Italy, as does the winding path of pea stone. In the distance, the vegetable garden provides much of their summer produce for the family.
This large, sweeping back yard was bare ledge when we began, and now undulates with native Juniper, Red Bud Trees and White Pines, also with colorful swaths of perennials and grasses.
The Pergola, with its rhythmic pattern of columns, offers shade and interesting shadow patterns.
Textures are rich with the contrast between the PG Hydrangea trees, Blue Spruce, and ornamental grasses.
In this garden, the paintings and sculpture of Matisse provide the inspiration for the entire look and feel of the spaces.
This pool area in Scituate, MA comes to life with Hydrangea Tardiva, Miscanthus Morning Light, and Microbiota, one of my favorite combinations of form and texture. The Japanese Maple accents the subtle waterfall and Pennisetum Hameln softens the pea stone walking path.