MEET THE DESIGNER
A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT SEES THE TRUE POTENTIAL OF ALL FOUR SEASONS
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What do you love about the outdoors? Its capacity to refresh, rejuvenate and restore. Being outdoors always helps me center and get perspective on life's truly important elements. Do you favor a tamed or wild aesthetic? Tamed. I like to incorporate natural elements in my designs, but with a sense of order. Describe your own backyard. Refined, traditional New England style. Lawn and casual plantings surround our remodeled 1796 farmhouse, a large barn and some outbuildings.
How do you design landscapes that retain their beauty throughout the changing seasons? Since most plants are only in leaf about half the year in New England, I design around the basic bones of the landscape that are visible throughout the entire year: structure, colorful bark, evergreen foliage or even blooms. What are some of your favorite plants? Both the Japanese Maple tree and the Doublefile Viburnum have sculptural qualities in winter, attractive foliage and shape in spring and summer, and beautiful coloring in fall.
What landscape elements can transform a yard? Simple, clean plant bed edges. When we view a landscape, our eyes are naturally drawn to edges and lines. What methods of sustainability do you employ? I work with, rather than against, natural systems: contouring for storm water drainage and soil percolation, taking advantage of sun exposure and using indigenous plants. What natural force is a landscape architect's worst enemy? In this part of the world, frost is our nemesis.
Do you view the outdoors as a space for relaxation or adventure? Both. I have experienced sailing in high winds, and I have watched the sun set across Lake Champlain with my wife. If you could take a walk through any garden with any person, living or dead, who would you choose? I would walk through Tivoli's historic Villa d'Este garden, just outside Rome, with the famed American landscape architect Thomas Church. We'd discuss why this Italian Renaissance landscape continues to inspire professionals and garden enthusiasts all the world over.