One of my favorite projects has been the landscape design for Old House Vineyards in Culpeper, VA. The winery had been in operation for a number of years when we were offered our first project, the design of the area around the new wedding pavilion. You would be hard pressed to find more of a blank slate than what we started with:
It was a challenging design brief. The pavilion was planned to hold 150-200 people, which meant designing enough parking for all the guests AND making it possible for all those people to move freely around the grounds. I was inspired by the site at which MJ and I got married. It was an historic farm property in rural Vermont and the lush landscape beds made gorgeous backdrops for photos and more. I wanted to recreate that here, and winery owners Pat and Allyson were on board.
Once the pavilion was in we started with the pathways. When designing on a large estate, everything needs to be big. The main paths are ten feet wide, covered in a gravel that’s quarried across the highway from the winery.
Once the paths were in place (and we could get heavy equipment safely away) it was time to plant. Because of the heavy clay soil and the fact that all the water in the vineyard drains to the pond, we had to be very cautious with plant selection. This is not a site for delicate plants!
With the rich farmland soil with which this property is blessed, it didn’t take long for the landscape beds to fill in beautifully.
The island and the fountain also make a beautiful backdrop!
A few years after the initial Culpeper landscape install, I was asked to design a fireplace and patio adjacent to the pond. The patio is a walnut colored travertine marble bordered with lilac-colored flagstone. For the fireplace, we knew it would need to be huge to match the scale of the property. A long hearth/bench, stone columns, and double woodboxes fit the bill. Because I hate a boring fireplace we inset a piece of travertine to act as a backdrop for the winery’s logo.
In an effort to make the wedding portion of the winery, especially the island, more accessible to folks with mobility issues, we were called in to switch out the gravel circle at the bridge with thermaled flagstone. Now, folks can be dropped off at the circle and can easily get out to the ceremony site. We’ll be replacing the rest of the gravel later, possibly this winter. I love how it turned out!
This Culpeper winery landscape design project has proven to be an ongoing endeavor. Keep checking back to see what we do next, and if you’d like to discuss what we can do at YOUR property – call me at 703-679-8550 or fill out the form below!