Landscape

Historic Idyll

A couple had finally found their ideal country home: an 18th-century historic farmhouse in Orlean, Virginia. Though they wanted a rustic, serene setting in which to entertain family and friends, the 18-acre property was anything but.
“It was in deplorable shape,” says landscape architect Richard Arentz, who was hired to regenerate the neglected property. In addition to drainage issues, fence runs cut up the landscape and many old trees were either dead or dying.
Fortunately, Arentz could see potential. He removed the fences and dead trees and re-graded the slope, creating a large central green with a drainage system beneath. The landscape became a stunning retreat that boasts terraces for entertaining, manicured green lawns, a tennis court, pool and spa, and lush shade gardens. Winner of a Potomac Chapter American Society of Landscape Architecture award, it has been the site of large parties and a number of weddings. Many of these have centered on the large yew-bordered lawn, which also serves as a calming transitional space between the home, terrace, gardens and guesthouse.
A turned-edge brick terrace accented with sandstone leads from the house to the lawn. A table and chairs sit on either side of a large, open central area with views of the lawn and pastures. Tucked into the greenery, a rectangular pool is surrounded by a deck of the same fieldstone that clads the house and existing walls. A secluded area nearby holds a stone spa, table and chairs.
Arentz’s goal was to retain a natural look appropriate to the landscape’s country setting. He succeeded: A tapestry of oakleaf hydrangea, hosta and Solomon’s Seal now thrives where parked cars once dripped oil over the tree roots. Although the transformation was dramatic, Arentz observes, “The greatest compliment you could give me is to say, ‘I’m not really sure what you did.’”
Karen Watkins is a Bethesda, Maryland, freelance writer. Photographer Roger Foley is based in Arlington, Virginia.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: RICHARD ARENTZ, ASLA, Arentz Landscape Architects, LLC, Washington, DC, and Warrenton, Virginia. ARCHITECTURE: JERRY HARPOLE, Harpole Architects P.C., Washington, DC. STONE MASONRY: CANGELOSI MASONRY, Locust Grove, Virginia.
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English Garden

When architect Faith Nevins Hawks and her husband, John Hawks, couldn’t find a country house to restore, they decided to build one from scratch. The couple purchased a 79-acre property in Monkton, Maryland, that encompassed a field bordered by woods, then Nevins Hawks set about designing a bucolic country estate complete with a Federal-style home, guesthouse, barn and English-style gardens. It would be the first private residence designed by the architect, whose award-winning projects include the Sailwinds Visitor Center in Cambridge, Maryland.
As she designed the house, Hawks studied local farmhouses and the Federal architecture of the 1800s. It was a priority for the residence to blend seamlessly into its country setting. She then turned to the work of iconic British gardener Gertrude Jekyll, as well as the gardens of England’s Sissinghurst Castle, for landscape inspiration.
“I love the way they structured plants, with elements you can see in the winter as well,” Nevins Hawks says of the English garden style. Today, views from the home’s two-level porch reveal a tapestry of perennials and shrubs designed for all-season show. Beyond a tidy row of boxwood, the garden bursts with shrubs, roses, peonies, nepeta and allium. Clusters of deep purple and maroon from plum, sand cherry and Japanese maple trees accent the soft palette.
A brick retaining wall by the pool adds architectural interest and alleviates drainage issues in the sloping lot. The bluestone pool deck, accented by plum trees, provides space for entertaining.
Gravel paths, loved by the Hawkses’ grandchildren, lead visitors from the house through the gardens to the barn and pool. “I love separate buildings that are connected…whether by a garden or by spaces that become special between buildings,” Nevins Hawks says.
Connecting the guesthouse to the main house is a lawn that serves as a badminton court and has hosted five weddings. Nevins Hawks, who has developed a passion for riding, has also created an area for training horses.
To one side of the pool, a wooden pergola with a stone floor gives relief from the sun while providing a welcoming, airy place for family meals. Sweet autumn clematis winds over the roof, providing fragrance in spring and summer.
Karen Watkins is a Bethesda, Maryland, freelance writer. Photographer Roger Foley is based in Arlington, Virginia.
ARCHITECTURE & LANDSCAPE DESIGN: FAITH NEVINS HAWKS, AIA, LEED AP, Marks Thomas Architects, Baltimore Maryland. STONE MASONRY: BLUESTONE CARPENTRY, York, Pennsylvania.
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SEARCH H&D’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers

H&D Portfolio showcases the 100 Top Designers in several markets to help you find the right architect, interior designer or landscape designer for your next residential project.
With a regional focus in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia; Texas; and Southern California, H&D Portfolio presents a wide range of styles and design profiles to connect you with top professionals who can help you create the home of your dreams.

FIND A TOP DESIGNER

The post SEARCH H&D’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers appeared first on Home & Design Magazine.

SEARCH H&D’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers

H&D Portfolio showcases the 100 Top Designers in several markets to help you find the right architect, interior designer or landscape designer for your next residential project.
With a regional focus in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia; Texas; and Southern California, H&D Portfolio presents a wide range of styles and design profiles to connect you with top professionals who can help you create the home of your dreams.

FIND A TOP DESIGNER

The post SEARCH H&D’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers appeared first on Home & Design Magazine.

SEARCH H&D’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers

H&D Portfolio showcases the 100 Top Designers in several markets to help you find the right architect, interior designer or landscape designer for your next residential project.
With a regional focus in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia; Texas; and Southern California, H&D Portfolio presents a wide range of styles and design profiles to connect you with top professionals who can help you create the home of your dreams.

FIND A TOP DESIGNER

The post SEARCH H&D’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers appeared first on Home & Design Magazine.

SEARCH H&D’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers

H&D Portfolio showcases the 100 Top Designers in several markets to help you find the right architect, interior designer or landscape designer for your next residential project.
With a regional focus in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia; Texas; and Southern California, H&D Portfolio presents a wide range of styles and design profiles to connect you with top professionals who can help you create the home of your dreams.

FIND A TOP DESIGNER

The post SEARCH H&D’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers appeared first on Home & Design Magazine.