Projects

Hilltop Grand Entrance

The main entrance to a sprawling hilltop house doesn't hint at the distance ocean view from the other side.  The brick-floored entry—in proportion with a massive structure, true—feels too large without substantial seasonal containers.  Each year, they are a mix of tried-&-true bravura with new exclamations....

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Hilltop Hidden Pool

A sprawling hilltop house overlooks the ocean in the distance but, even on a clear day, the main interest must be within the pool & its three accompanying terraces. Completed twenty-five years ago, this was one of my first grand master-plan projects. How have those design decisions held up?...

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Georgian Reborn—in High Summer

Last fall, the previous Georgian Revival gallery introduces the fearless reconfiguration of vehicular & pedestrian hardscape, with accompanying horticulture of equal bravado, that brought unity to this rangy & triumphantly eccentric project. Here, the sparkling excitement continues through the growing season....

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Georgian Reborn

A monumental Georgian country house received an even more monumental addition. Integrating the two meant a fearless reconfiguration of vehicular & pedestrian hardscape, with accompanying horticulture of equal bravado. I'll visit this rangy & triumphantly eccentric project again—and again—in the coming season....

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Summer by the Bay 1: Upper Double Borders

An enormous waterfront property in New England is in use just summer through early fall, so spring favorites such as peonies, bulbs, & rhododendrons are pointless. Plus, the site is completely exposed to high winds—and is so large that normal-sized plants would look laughably weak & tiny. Few perennials are...

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Summer By The Bay 2: Lower Double Borders

In the middle-distance as you look out at the ocean, the gigantic lower borders beckon. To stay in scale with the deep, horizon-wide water view, they are nearly two hundred feet wide & forty feet deep. Plants won't show from the house if they aren't at least three feet high...

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Summer by the Bay 3: Vegetable & Cutting Garden

Next, an immense vegetable & cutting garden was added. Unlike the double borders, whose plantings don't interest summer-visiting deer, this garden had to be fenced with eight-foot chain-link. Forty-some 4 x 10' raised beds yield a bounty....

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Xanadu 1: Before

When the adjacent two-acre horse paddock became available, summer residents up from Manhattan to the country only from late May to frost snapped it up. No wonder! They had an arm's-length wishlist for what needed to take place there....

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Xanadu 2: Built & Just Planted

A year of construction yielded the densely-arrayed layout of activity areas, specific gardens, connecting pathways, privacy plantings, & buildings.  Only as they are realized could planting even begin—and only after many years to come, would those plantings come into the desired scale with the layout realized so long ago....

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Xanadu 3: First Season in the Garden

In the year or two after the initial planting season, the herbaceous & annual components of the overall plant palette rocket to maturity. Shrubs & trees take years more—sometimes decades. Nonetheless, even at this early stage, the eventual balance of plant growth to hardscape layout is finally...

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Xanadu 4: The Gardens Are Thriving

In another year or two, the horticulture is beginning to suggest its mature scale—but only just.   Many years will pass before the trees are at their peak. ...

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Xanadu 5: The Berry Folly

Because the property didn't offer views into abutting land, especially when looking out from the pool-house's dining terrace, the impressive vista down the length of the swimming pool needed to be stopped with something—anything—of sufficient gravitas, size, & beauty to warrant being such an interruption.   ...

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Stunning Summer Views 1: Getting Started

This prominent house is well-sited on the largest property in its seaside village. It enjoys breathtaking water views, but the quirks of the setting are that surrounding properties enjoy breathtaking views OF this one. The challenge, then, was how to create gracious privacy from all of the neighbors...

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Stunning Summer Views 2: The First Season

The summer after the initial planting, perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees are still filling in. No matter that many were the largest-available sizes: The areas to be covered were huge, and the overall bulk needed was considerable....

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Stunning Summer Views 3: Grown Up & Glorious

Thanks to site-specific choices, deep soil, and plenty of sun, the plantings reach a steady state of maturity in just a couple of years. The many and massive neighbors to be screened have become so—but with plants that are so ornamental that the first impression isn't of privacy creation at...

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Village Charm 1: Before

A period house in the heart of the village—on trash day! The structure's footprint couldn't be changed, but the second story was enlarged and the first-floor rooms re-arranged. So far, so good....

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Village Charm 2: After

A couple of years after planting, the property's remarkable lack of privacy is finessed by bountiful ornamental plantings. The front garden would strike passersby as an unstintingly generous public display—which it is. But it also ensures deep privacy for the screened porch. ...

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Cape Summer

A remarkable residence on Cape Cod is just one room deep, to catch every possible breeze in the days before air conditioning. The triumphant entry court and procession through the house needed to be balanced by a suitably focal statement in the garden so many of the rooms overlook....

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Berkshire Beauty

To transform an old farm in the Berkshires into a country retreat for a young family from Manhattan, a pool was inserted into a steep slope between the barn, the repurposed corncrib and, behind me, the house....

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Squaring Up the Villa

The remarkably grand & ceremonial front steps combined with the faithful symmetry of this eccentric waterview residence to give its front facade a powerful directionality. It faces the world with quirky resoluteness: straight ahead, & with careful balance. The front landscape needed to get in line....

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Pretty — With Parking 1: Before

When this summer house on the Cape was gut-renovated, the landscape received as thorough a rethink. As it was, the modest front yard was overwhelmed by access & parking for cars. How to handle the traffic with grace as well as style?...

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Pretty — With Parking 2: After

After switching the U-shaped drive & the huge bed, the property's potential to accept plenty of visitors & their inevitable vehicles—while also maintaining a gracious & cottage-garden feel—was at last realized....

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Townhouse Garden “A”

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Italian Revival

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Bee Wary

With family members deathly allergic to beestings, the re-imagined gardens for this exuberant tile-roofed mansion needed to bore the pants off them, so that they didn’t seek the property out on their quotidian multi-mile foraging flights. This only made the gardens MORE colorful & exciting for the owners &...

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Townhouse Garden “B”

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Urban Garden 1: Before

A vast city estate was subdivided in the 1940’s, with its gigantic tile-topped, stuccoed Italian revival mansion replaced by a pair of sleek Bauhaus-esque brick residences. The property’s tiled-topped perimeter walls, plus the also-gigantic carriage house, are all that remain of the original. Here, the rear garden of...

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Urban Garden 2: After

With the plantings now as unstinting & exuberant as the house's interiors, the functionality of the gardens is as gloriously effective as that of the house itself....

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Townhouse Garden “D”

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Boston Bounty

A Gustav Stickley house in Wellesley, MA, warranted gardens that are as artisanal as it is. ...

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Townhouse Garden “C”

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Montreal Mosaiculture

Carpet bedding—but in three dimensions? "Mosaiculture" has long been celebrated in Asia. Louis was hired to represent Boston at its first world-wide festival, in Montreal....

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Down on the Farm

A hundred-acre estate where—for once, George Washington truly did sleep—was reinvigorated as a September showhouse. Louis replanted the huge vegetable garden as a parterre of immense annuals & tropicals....

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Summer Parterre

A cottage on Newport's famed Bellevue Avenue hosted a September showhouse. Louis created a bijoux parterre so that the grand porch had a worthy view....

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Gardening as Theater

A summer theater's patrons needed to enjoy the property's outside during intermission as well as to stroll between the theater & its cabaret-restaurant. Mere "landscaping" wouldn't put on a sufficient show. Instead, Louis created gardens that were such performers that they soon became as much of an attraction as the...

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Estate Planting

A vast Edwardian estate once commanded views to the ocean miles away. Its intimate walled garden, nestled into the crest of its hill, needed reimagining as a private aerie to be enjoyed from within—and to observe the forest below. ...

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Intimate Dining

A charming house in a densely-built village on the Connecticut coast had just a side garden that fronted the busy street. How to make it at once gracious from the street, but thoroughly private from within?...

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Street Scene

A summer cottage on a private lane needed a street-front garden that said "Welcome!" but also provided some privacy for a cozy front terrace. ...

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Lakeview

An unused sloping lawn was transformed into a lakeside gathering spot by a terrace nestled amid creative plantings, while colorful horticulture along the drive into this unusual property extends a "wide smile" greeting to visitors....

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Summer Circle

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