Home & Design

Cottage Charm

In the hands of Surrounds, Inc., a Great Falls property blooms with warmth, functionality and style

The owners of a traditional Great Falls residence contacted Surrounds, Inc., to reimagine their two-plus-acre property with improved convenience in front and an oasis in back centered around a swimming pool. “The lot was bare but surrounded by woods,” recalls landscape architect Chad Talton, who spearheaded the project. “We created a landscape that’s somewhat clean-lined, but with cottage qualities that enhance its appeal.”

Previously, a dysfunctional traffic circle dominated the home’s approach. “The owners have a lot of cars and they wanted to be able to park them all and still get around,” Talton says. “The goal was to make the front more usable as well as more beautiful.” Replacing the circle with a paver courtyard solved the issue; a bluestone path leads to the front door while the side-facing garage anchors a spacious parking area. Stone columns and lights flank the driveway entrance. Strategically lit crape myrtles frame the house, scaling down the front façade to conjure that cottage feel.

Beside the garage, a cedar gate set within a stone wall leads to the backyard, which initially presented its own challenges. “There was a constant slope toward the house, and the septic field had to be moved to accommodate the pool,” Talton explains. Stone retaining walls now terrace the property above a rectangular pool surrounded by travertine and thermal bluestone. A cedar-and-stone pavilion with a standing-seam, aluminum roof houses a fireplace and lounge area, while an attached pergola shelters a built-in outdoor kitchen. An existing elevated deck has been upgraded with trim and a repositioned stair leads to the pool area. Water features—one delineated by vegetable and cutting gardens—are set apart to create destinations on the property.

Eagle Ridge building stone crops up throughout the landscape, mimicking the home’s stone accents. A simple planting palette features deer-resistant drift roses, nepeta and Lacecap hydrangea, as well as gingko and cedar trees and evergreen cryptomeria.

Landscape Architecture & Contracting: Chad Talton, PLA, Surrounds Landscape Architecture + Construction, Sterling, Virginia. 

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