Chestertown, Maryland

Allen Russ Photography

After a major house renovation, and amidst the construction of a detached 3-car garage, we were hired to create a landscape that pulled these and other site features together. The property was mostly barren, lacking any significant plantings. Maybe the most challenging aspect was an existing swimming pool located between the garage and house. Overlaying (but not hindering) our work was the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area law which limits impervious surface, requires mitigation planting and special permitting.  

We addressed three primary needs. First, we addressed circulation, which was challenged by the placement of an existing pool between the detached garage and the front door of the house. We created privacy for the pool and functional access to the house through the use of native plantings, framed views, and a carefully placed Bluestone path. 

Second, we secured the garden to satisfy pool barrier requirements and provide privacy from fairly close neighbors while also keeping deer out. We used a combination of materials from simple board and wire fencing painted black, to more decorative fences, stone columns and wooden gates incorporated into the existing architecture. 

Third, we created habitat that was native, functional, beautiful and sustainable. A woodland edge outside the garden creates privacy for a neighbor, fall color for humans, and habitat for birds and caterpillars. A shrubland inside the garden creates privacy for a neighbor, seasonal interest for humans, and food sources for insects and birds. A sunny perennial bed by the pool provides summer color for humans and pollen/nectar sources for birds and insects. 

We also designed a copper and concrete water feature, low voltage lighting, a cedar post-and-beam pergola, and oversaw the renovation of the existing pool.