LCA Awards: Grand Retreat

A stately garden by McHale Landscape Design complements an 1820 home in Easton

Homeowners with a faulty fountain called on Hans Bleinberger of McHale Landscape Design to fix it—beginning a close and enduring collaboration. Bleinberger went on to refine several acres of their 90-acre property—and the result was a grand retreat complete with manicured boxwood hedges, spacious lawns and walking paths connecting the ivy-covered 19th-century house with its Leeds Creek locale.

“The garden is about form, lines and structure,” says Bleinberger. A grassy path, accented by decorative limestone plinths, English yew and dwarf Burford holly, leads to a fountain surrounded by distinct quadrants: a rose garden, an exotic garden, a croquet lawn and a free-form “wilderness” area.

A circular lawn frames two pairs of semicircular white gravel beds in the exotic garden lined with manicured boxwood. The beds hold tropicals such as palms and citrus that bask in the sunroom in cold weather.

Bleinberger rearranged existing plants, grouping crape myrtles by color. A pink clump accents a vintage gazebo where a garden bench invites visitors to pause and enjoy the landscape. An existing Japanese snowbell in the rose garden now shines amid red knockout roses and a crimson barberry hedge.

A red-cedar allée provides shade around the perimeter of the garden. “At the end of the day,” Bleinberger says, “the purpose was a meditative garden used for walking and observing.”

Award: Decade Award, Residential Maintenance. Landscape Design: Hans Bleinberger, McHale Landscape Design, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.