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Bayside Beauty

Sudbury Design Group transforms a challenging seaside landscape

Stone walls and hydrangeas give this home true Cape Cod style. Photo by Michael Lee

To enhance the approach to the house, Coutu designed an allee of London Plane Trees at the end of a long gravel driveway that winds through native woods of scrub oak, sassafras, and pitch pine. “We wanted the presentation on the street to be understated, typical of the surrounding landscape,” Coutu explains.

The allee opens out into the home’s entrance courtyard which is paved with soft reddish pavers enhanced by plantings chosen from a cool seaside palette of blues, pinks, yellows, and white. “The homeowners wanted a lot of summer color, so we added pink Fairy Roses, white and blue hydrangeas and perennials such as pastel-colored daylilies around the courtyard,” says Coutu.

To anchor the plantings around the sprawling house and add height and foliage interest as well as screening, gap and flow beds of evergreen and hardwood trees were designed, with Leyland Cypress, White Pines, transplanted Black and Austrian Pines, Eastern and Western Cedar, Swiss Stone Pine, American Arborvitae and Shadblow, Japanese Stewartia, Cherry, and Dogwood trees.

Both native and exotic shrubs were chosen to add seasonal color throughout the property, including American Holly, Bayberry, Summersweet, Inkberry, Spiraea, Lilac, and Azalea, softened with low plantings of Bearberry, Lavender, Heather, Hosta, and other perennials.

“One of the biggest challenges of this project was choosing plant material that could survive in sometimes extremely windy coastal situations,” says Coutu. “From a horticultural standpoint, we had to choose plants that could stand tough Buzzards Bay winds year-round.”

Sudbury Design Group worked with a local builder, Pocasset’s Mark Mahoney, who built the new guest house, relocated the garage, and completely remodeled the main house, transforming the overblown structure into a handsome Cape Cod manse with distinctive, yet subtle nautical details like porthole windows, ships deck-style balconies, water-view gables, and surrounding hardscape features in neutral tones.

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