This contemporary house, nicely positioned on a beautiful lake, was a blank slate when we met the clients. That is always an exciting situation for us. They knew that wanted the landscape to have a Japanese meets Catskills feel, but that was about the extent of the requirements. There was a big blank wall to the left of the front door that cried out for some treatment to minimize the starkness so we came up with the idea of the pergola with the walkway. It will eventually be covered by a native wisteria or possible grapes.
We used a lot of big boulders and created a berm to add some topographical and winter interest. We added a dry creek bed as well as bluestone and gravel paths to add to the Asian feel and functionality of the design. The plantings are largely native but the design did cry out for a Japanese maple.
On one side of the house we put in a simple grove of river birch with a meandering gravel path through a mass planting of Geranium macrorrhizum (maybe me favorite plant). On the other side we made a small formal garden outside the guest room interest with a rail fence and central gravel path passing through to the back.
The back of the house has an informal bluestone patio integrated with a curvilinear deck incorporating some small boulders. A bluestone path wanders down to a patio with seating boulders and a fire pit framed by a beautiful Japanese torii style gate in front of the lake. This gate as well as the arbor in the front of the house were commissioned by the clients and designed and installed by a local artist. We worked with the artist but I can’t take credit for these beautiful additions.