Early on, Dewey says he was struck by the property’s potential. “The long linear character of the property was really unique compared to almost any other that I’d seen,” says Dewey, who is MCLP (Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals) certified. Integrating three main elements of hardscape, plantings, and a lawn, the designer’s plan ultimately highlighted the ocean views from the house, implementing a curvilinear scheme that naturally unwinds from the house towards the water.
Dewey felt that the land and its relationship to the sea had to strongly influence the final plan.“It became very apparent where each feature would go and what the landscape would look like leading down to the water,” he says. An overall design of repeating arcs or waves echoing throughout the landscape offers a pleasing coastal aesthetic.
“Even though the shape of the lot itself is fairly narrow in sections, there was an opportunity to lay out clump and gap plantings, which are highlighted by repeated plant groupings, accented with well placed specimens,” Dewey explains.
Additionally the design serves as a dynamic counterpoint to the uncompromising rectangle of the house. A biomorphic patio with surrounding sitting walls and small, foundation plantings softens the lines of the house and offers a comfortable space for informal gatherings. Leading from the patio to the water, several turf “rooms” are divided by oaks and lined with mixed borders of specimen trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials.
Dewey says of his design process, “I like to think of function and circulation first—with this landscape you want an easy path from the house to the lawn to the water. The patio has a circulation pattern that provides space for people to come and go. For the gardens, I chose plant materials, including trees, shrubs, and perennials that ebb and flow throughout the property, yet don’t hinder a busy family’s lifestyle. Being able to bring all these elements together created a richer landscape.”