This design joined the features of surrounding natural forest into the landscape of a newly built home / office in Chesterfield, MA. Stressing the importance of blending in the house with its environment, stones and rocks were excavated onsite for the patio and walkway. Trees felled were used as lumber in the construction or as fuel for the home’s woodstove. Predominantly native Massachusetts plants were planted in the landscaping for low maintenance and four seasons of interest. This also helps create biodiversity, attracting local wildlife like birds and insects.
Towards a perfect balance between form and function, this design helped ensure that the solar electric needs of the home / office were achieved.
2002 – Landscape Design Phase – The site prior to the construction of the home / office and landscape was a forest. The wood cut to clear the site was later used to build the barn and home/office along and to provide woodstove heat.
2003 – Installation Begins
Before: The stone or the “bones” is often the first step during an installation. All the stone for the walkway and patio were dug up onsite during the excavation. The gravel gives drainage and stability to any stone project.
After (3 Years Later): What a difference three years makes. The real key to get vigorous growth is in plant selection. A well thought-out design puts the right plant in the right place.
The use of native tall grasses among the flowering perennials gives the gardens the desired casual feel.
This is the woodchip path from the vegetable garden to the barn. Casual and functional.
Much thought was given to the ratio between trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. The addition of small flowering trees and shrubs around a house gives it four seasons of interest, especially if the trees and shrubs have ornamental fruit or seeds that persist through the winter, interesting bark, and a unique shape.
Ornamental tall grasses can give signs of life to even the most frozen landscape. Grasses, along with adding winter interest, unify any garden or landscape when properly used.
Herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables are all grown together in one harmonious mix. The gardens contains: 21 different kinds of fruits: apple, apricot, plum, peach, pear, asian pear, persimmons, cherry, strawberry (June and ever-bearing), currants, blackberries (thornless and thorny), raspberries (early, mid and late), blueberries (early, mid and late), grapes, hardy banana, hardy orange, paw paw, watermelon, cantaloupe, beach plum & kiwis. All are organically managed. The 12 herbs that are grown are: basil, cilantro, sage, hyssop, catmint, lemon balm, oregano, chives, coriander, thyme, italian and regular parsley. The two dozen plus vegetables that are grown are: squash (winter and summer), corn, asparagus, garden greens (mescaline, lettuce, asian greens, etc…) bush & pole beans, cabbage, peppers (bell & hot), okra, sunchokes, leeks, red & yellow onion, Brussels sprouts, edible bamboo, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, eggplant, kale, pumpkins, asparagus, beets, broccoli and garlic. And disease resistant American Chestnuts. The fruits, vegetables and herbs are preserved in a number of different ways allowing for year round consumption. There are dozens of cut flowers.
The garlic will be ready to harvest today on this cool late July morning. The mini greenhouse has its sides down to keep the tomatoes, basil, peppers and eggplant warm overnight.