The owners of a 19th-century farmhouse and adjacent 1920s main house wanted to unify the two disparate structures. They turned to the surrounding landscape to create the bond they wanted, hiring Guy Williams of DCA Landscape Architects to bring it all together.
“They requested an Old World European feeling throughout,” Williams says. He seamlessly united the properties that span eight acres, lending texture and depth to the landscape by reorganizing existing trees and shrubs and controlling the views. Park-like lawns meld together with croquet and soccer fields, all connected by rustic stone paths and cobblestone-edged drives.
A new clay tennis court looks decades old in its lush green setting. Spectators can watch a game from under a unique handmade pergola, smothered with clematis and climbing roses, that was crafted using pegs instead of nails. There is also a break in the wall where a decorative wrought-iron gate allows a secluded view of the game from a bench set under the trees. Ivy planted in arches cut into a high stone wall softens the lines of the court, while a row of bleached hornbeams keeps it hidden from other parts of the garden.
Large trees surround the pool with a tapestry of leafy texture. Details such as an uneven flagstone deck, overflowing planters and wrought-iron gates in the stone wall make it feel part of a larger, established garden. Surprising, secluded spots await discovery. A teak bench set amid coneflowers becomes a private place for morning coffee. Surrounded by a bank of transplanted azaleas, a hammock slung between two trees offers a shady respite. “There’s a sense of magic in coming upon these little discoveries,” Williams says.
Karen A. Watkins is a writer in Bethesda, Maryland. Roger Foley is an award-winning landscape photographer in Arlington, Virginia.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: GUY WILLIAMS, DCA Landscape Architects, Washington, DC.
LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR: Chapel Valley Landscape Company, Woodbine, Maryland.