Brand new houses are a dream for landscape designers: There’s no need to rip out overgrown trees or reconfigure existing hardscapes. They also allow designers to work closely with clients to create exactly what they envision.
When landscape designer Joel Hafner of Fine Earth Landscape, Inc., met the owners of a property in McLean, they requested “lower plantings that wouldn’t overpower the architecture of the house” in the front yard and evergreen screening around the perimeter of the site to provide privacy from neighboring homes. Other requirements included an outdoor kitchen, a deck and a terrace with a fireplace.
In the front, Hafner created a parking court of Dublin cobble with a flagstone border. He planted perennials, flowering shrubs and evergreens that soften the entrance and complement the architecture of the home.
In the back yard, he transformed a tiny second-floor terrace put in by the builder into an outdoor kitchen and added a generous deck with a rose-covered pergola. On the lower level, double doors from the house open to a flagstone terrace with an outdoor fireplace that warms the entertaining area in colder months. Tucked beneath the deck and adjacent to the terrace is a water feature complete with a waterfall, a stream and a fishpond. Large stepping stones across the stream allow access from the terrace to the deck.
Flowering dogwoods and redbuds, hydrangeas, roses and hollies bursting with berries bring this landscape to life in every season and make the new residence look like it’s been there forever.
AWARD: Distinction, Total Residential Contracting. DESIGN: Joel Hafner, Fine Earth Landscape, Inc., Poolesville, Maryland. ACCESSORIES & STYLING: Gwen Seidlitz, Sage Interiors, Great Falls, Virginia. PHOTOGRAPHY: Bob Narod.