The residence sits on 15 picturesque acres. © Erin Brooke Bogan and John Spaulding
A flagstone patio is readily accessible from the house. © Erin Brooke Bogan and John Spaulding
A flagstone terrace is centered by a fountain. © Erin Brooke Bogan and John Spaulding
A gate leads to gardens within. © Erin Brooke Bogan and John Spaulding
A flagstone terrace is centered by a fountain. © Erin Brooke Bogan and John Spaulding
A gate leads to gardens within. © Erin Brooke Bogan and John Spaulding

Al Fresco Style

McHale enhances a Germantown horse farm with lush gardens and inviting living areas

The owners of a 15-acre horse farm in Germantown who wanted the landscape to complement their traditional stone house hired designer Julie Patronik of McHale Landscape Design to help them achieve their vision. “They wanted it kind of loose and casual, especially as you moved away from the house,” Patronik says. They also requested plenty of color throughout.

Patronik heralded the new design with a stone entry wall etched with the farm’s name. Stone piers to either side of the drive are enhanced by plantings. Halfway along the main drive, stone columns guide visitors to the right, toward the main entrance. The drive continues straight to the stables at the rear of the property.

Located between the residence and the street, a pond has been embellished with boulders and a fountain in its center. Iris, ornamental grasses, aster and a weeping willow make this formerly nondescript spot alluring. In keeping with the clients’ wishes, it even welcomes Canada geese during their seasonal migration.

Behind the house, Patronik designed a series of linked flagstone terraces, including a main entertaining patio, a kitchen patio with a water feature and a private patio that’s accessible from one of the bedrooms. A long path from the terraced area leads over a bridge to the stables. The clients requested colorful plantings in informal beds; masses of hydrangea, river birch, spruce and perennials tie the entire landscape together.

Jane Berger is a journalist and landscape designer based in Washington, DC.

DECADE AWARD: Total Residential Contracting. LANDSCAPE DESIGN: JULIE PATRONIK and CAROLYN MULLET, McHale Landscape Design, Inc., Upper Marlboro, Maryland. ARCHITECTURE: BRUCE HUTCHINSON, Hutchinson + Associates, LLC, Rockville, Maryland.