With landscape design portfolio pages, you typically only want to showcase pretty pictures of finished projects. What’s a bit of a bummer about that is that it takes a good 2-3 years for a landscape to fill in and start looking like something. We’re doing cool stuff NOW. If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram you get to see progress photos from time to time, but this section curates them in one place. I’ll update this page a few times a month so you can see what we’re working on, even if it’s not quite ready for prime time!
Sperryville landscape design
We’re currently up to our armpits in a full property landscape renovation in Sperryville, VA. We worked with these clients at their home in Fairfax, and when they purchased this property I jumped at the chance to make it beautiful. The details: home was built 20-25 years ago. The property was well cared for, but there were no major improvements done. Additionally, while the home originally had panoramic views, a bunch of scrub trees had grown up in the interim. You can just catch the barest glimpses of the view in this photo.
So what’s the plan? EVERYTHING! The design includes an expansion of the ground level deck, a seat wall, new stone walkways, two water features, loads of plantings, and landscape lighting. We also brought in a local contractor to selectively clear some of the undesirable trees and open up the views. You can see how successful we were at getting some of the views back below – prettiest concrete pour I’ve seen in forever!
What they’re doing in that pic, above, is pouring the concrete base for the new flagstone walk. Here’s what it looked like after the pour:
If you’re wondering what those indentations/trenches in the concrete are, you’ll love what’s coming next! The design of the front walk calls for flagstone squares and rectangles with bands of 4″ cobblestone cubes at intervals. We had to create those depressions in the concrete because the cubes are 4″ thick and the flagstone is 1″ thick. It’s the best way to ensure that we have a consistent, smooth surface. Here’s a picture of what it looked like before pointing up:
More pics to come!
Manassas swimming pool and total landscape
The client owns a beautiful Victorian home in Manassas and wanted a landscape that reflected the home’s elegance and timeless appeal. Additionally, they wanted to create a backyard oasis for their family. The design brief centered around a swimming pool and pavilion. From there, we designed ample patio space, an outdoor kitchen, and loads of plantings. The city was pretty tough on us, wanting to ensure that the overall design suited the home and neighborhood. I think we rocked it out. Here are a few key elements:
The pool is 22’x40′, which is a great size for everything from hectic pool parties to solitary lap swimming. The pool decking is a brick paver that plays well with the vintage of the home and feels comfortable under bare feet. The flagstone coping, step treads, and banding help tie the pool decking to the flagstone pad below the pavilion.
Here’s what I love about projects like these: the small details. You may know, if you’re a regular reader of this website and/or my social media, that I absolutely HATE a boring outdoor fireplace. So many of them are violently yawn-inducing! Luckily I have interesting friends, one of whom does architectural salvage. He had a complete stone fireplace surround that had been saved from an old home prior to demolition. It’s going to look amazing.
I’ll update soon with new pics. For now, use your imaginations!
Mountain Run Winery
One of the things I love about living in Culpeper is that all those DC area folks think this is an amazingly gorgeous area. They’re right, I’m just amused that they also seem to think this is the back side of beyond. It’s under two hours, people. Come on.
Anyhow, a lot of people want to come out here to get married in a beautiful setting. What’s more beautiful than one of Virginia’s farm wineries? The wonderful folks at Mountain Run Winery want to make their property something special for people getting married, and they hired us to design and install a patio and arbor for the ceremony site.
We created a two-tiered flagstone patio. The raised center portion, for the couple and their officiant, is set off with a medallion of irregular flagstone and a border of custom cut, curved flagstone slabs. The “wings”, where the wedding party stands, are a simple random-pattern flagstone. The arbor was custom designed and fabricated from cedar, and stained for a rich color.
I’m always proud of the detail that goes into our projects, both on the design end and on the install end (Juan is amazingly talented). Here you can see how clean the cuts and the patterning are, and how the small details have such big impact.
Old House Vineyards
We’ve done a lot of work for Old House Vineyards and the owners for pretty much the entire time I’ve been in business. The place looks amazing, but the down side is that some rude people act like this private farm winery is now a public park. Can you imagine having to chase random people off your property because they brazenly decided to bring a cooler of beer and a picnic dinner after your business closes for the day? People are… special.
To combat this we’re installing a gate. Because this is such a big property and we’ve done some pretty spectacular Culpeper landscape projects in the past, though, it was never going to be “just” a gate. Massive walls flank the driveway and provide a means of concealing the functional-yet-boring gate while the winery is open for business, and columns visually extend the whole affair to give it more scale and oomph.
Two details (we like the details here, have you noticed?) make this gate special. First, the stone. You may notice that it looks different from most wall stones or veneers. There’s good reason for that. Rather than use a veneer stone or even a stone that’s split for use as a wall stone, I selected a regular, thick Pennsylvania fieldstone. Each of the 17 (!) pallets contained a full range of stones, from small to large and rounded to angular. Juan was cursing me out at first, but he quickly figured out how to make the stone sing. I chose this for my stone because Old House Vineyards sits on an old farm property. I grew up around old farm walls in New England, and I wanted a similar feel.
The other detail was incorporating elements of the property’s current uses into the walls themselves. In the first photo, if you look behind Bonnie the Amazing Landscape Dawg, you’ll see that we integrated a French oak wine barrel into the stonework. Because there’s also a distillery on property, we decided to work a copper pot still into the stonework on the other side of the driveway.
Still to come are the finished column caps, gate, fence panels, signage, plantings, and lighting. But it’s coming along!
Like what you see? Let’s talk!