Before + After

South Fork Studio reimagines an awkward Maryland landscape

Sited prohibitively close to the critical-area buffer, a Tolchester, Maryland, house on the Chesapeake Bay had its pool located in the front yard rather than by the waterfront behind the house. When the owners decided to add a garage beyond the pool area, they hired South Fork Studio Landscape Architecture to conceive a plan that would link the two structures yet keep the pool separate. “Other than a waterside deck, the usable space is between the house and garage,” principal D. Miles Barnard explains. “This created an interesting design puzzle.”

Barnard and his team landscaped the new garage area, which presents the first impression of the property. Pennsylvania bluestone pavers and a curved stone retaining wall guide visitors past a Lunaform fountain and through steel gates to the front yard, where the pool area is delineated from the path to the home’s front door by a lush bank of native plantings including False Indigo, Joe Pye Weed and Little Bluestem.

The existing pool has been renovated, with a Pennsylvania bluestone surround and a Western red cedar pergola at the end closest to the garage. Beyond the house, the expanse of the Chesapeake Bay is visible.

Landscape Architecture: D. Miles Barnard, ASLA, RLA, South Fork Studio Landscape Architecture, Chestertown, Maryland. Landscape Contractor: Ben Herr, Anthony’s Flowers & Landscaping, Chestertown, Maryland. Garage Contractor: Torr Howell, Blue Heron Contracting, Chestertown, Maryland. Photography: Allen Russ.