TRANSFORMATION TUESDAY / by Robin Kramer

This is the first in a series of posts in which we will show the transformation our projects undergo from initial site visits, through to the day the sod goes down.  We like to continuously visit the gardens that we design, adding and refining as they mature and evolve.

This particular project was located across the street from the ocean in Westport CT, set on less than half an acre of land.  The site proved to be challenging, not only with the amount of land we had to work with, but also the fact that the house was built directly into a very steep hillside.  Through strategic planning of tiered stone walls, terraces, grass areas and lush planting beds, we were able to create a relaxing seaside environment that was conducive to outdoor entertaining.   

Before the house framing went up, tiered walls were built into the hillside creating planting beds that would be viewed from the second and third floors of the house.  A row of Linden trees were planted in the upper tier of the walls (upper left corner of photo).

Before the house framing went up, tiered walls were built into the hillside creating planting beds that would be viewed from the second and third floors of the house.  A row of Linden trees were planted in the upper tier of the walls (upper left corner of photo).

A view to the water from what would eventually become the fireplace seating terrace and pergola

A view to the water from what would eventually become the fireplace seating terrace and pergola

The house and outdoor fireplace as seen from across the road

The house and outdoor fireplace as seen from across the road

Steps up to the fireplace terrace are built, and raised planting beds added to the facade

Steps up to the fireplace terrace are built, and raised planting beds added to the facade

Monolithic bluestone steps are installed to the front entrance

Monolithic bluestone steps are installed to the front entrance

Pavers are added to the parking court

Pavers are added to the parking court

Plantings of boxwood spheres, grasses, and mixed perennials are added to the tiered beds, as well as low boxwood hedging to soften the stone walls and foundation of the house.

Plantings of boxwood spheres, grasses, and mixed perennials are added to the tiered beds, as well as low boxwood hedging to soften the stone walls and foundation of the house.

Tiered wall planting scheme

Tiered wall planting scheme

A native species planting buffer of Ilex Glabra is added along the stone wall as required by the town for coastal properties.

A native species planting buffer of Ilex Glabra is added along the stone wall as required by the town for coastal properties.

Wisteria, Miscanthus and Gaura are added to the raised planters below the fireplace seating terrace.  Hedges of privet are added to separate the first floor of the house from the road.

Wisteria, Miscanthus and Gaura are added to the raised planters below the fireplace seating terrace.  Hedges of privet are added to separate the first floor of the house from the road.

Planting beds with Hameln grasses and perennials are established, and stone edging installed to separate the pathway from the planting areas....

Planting beds with Hameln grasses and perennials are established, and stone edging installed to separate the pathway from the planting areas....

After

After

The Privet hedge succeeds in screening the road as seen from the front door

The Privet hedge succeeds in screening the road as seen from the front door

An outdoor shower is installed for rinsing off after a dip in the ocean

An outdoor shower is installed for rinsing off after a dip in the ocean

Furniture is added underneath the pergola, along with planters of crisp boxwood

Furniture is added underneath the pergola, along with planters of crisp boxwood

A view from the dining area to the tiered beds as they mature

A view from the dining area to the tiered beds as they mature