The overall property, including the house and surrounding acreage, is still very much in progress. For the homeowners’ young family, an outdoor space to play, run, and entertain in was a top priority when they moved in four years ago.
The severely neglected backyard offered potential, if you could look beyond a vast sea of tough invaders such as bittersweet, poison ivy, honeysuckle, and Russian olive. Closer to the house, overgrown foundation plantings typical of the 1960s (boxwood, azaleas, and junipers) and a crumbling slate patio combined for an altogether unremarkable landscape in dire need of love and vision.
On the other hand, there were some diamonds within all this rough: mature rhododendron as well as mature oaks and white pines, offering full season interest and privacy. By far the most dramatic feature was the distinctive shape of the lot itself: a long, narrow expanse unwinding along 600 feet between the house and the ocean beach.
To tackle this transformation, the property’s young owners called on Dewey Gardens to revive and enhance the daunting stretch of space. The couple’s goals were clear and straightforward. “We wanted to preserve as many remaining trees as we could, while opening things up to have a few different outdoor spaces for entertaining and playing,” says the homeowner. The couple also wanted a landscape that would compliment a low-key and informal lifestyle and integrate a preference for a classic New England farmhouse landscape.