Xanadu 1: Before
When the two-acre horse paddock adjacent to their country house of twenty-five years became available, summer residents who are up from Manhattan each year only from late May to frost snapped it up. No wonder! They had an arm’s-length wishlist of what needed to take place on their now-expanded property, including a pool, poolhouse/guesthouse, a garage, a studio, huge cutting & vegetable gardens, a garden shed, an orchard for tree-borne fruits as well as beds for “soft” fruits such as grapes & raspberries, plus perimeter privacy plantings.
It was soon clear that, far from placing everything in the central already-grassed area of the property, every bit of the site needed to be called into action. The result? An entire world of activity & enjoyment, fit together with lapidary precision.
- Looking across the former paddock to the road. At the far-right, the old vegetable garden. Large by any normal standards, it is a fraction the size of the one to come.
- Looking to the adjacent working farm (with horses), which used to include this paddock. As with the trees at the left, all of the perimeter trees in the distance needed to be removed to accommodate the long list of amenities to come.
- Looking from the former paddock up to the original house (since completely rebuilt). Demands of the desired program meant that all of these perimeter trees were removed.
- The plan for the now-cleared two acres, using every inch of available space. At the upper left (nearest the working farm in the previous pictures), a poolhouse, new garage, driveway, and parking. At center, the pool and its surrounding terraces. At the left of the pool, the caged "berry folly" for soft fruits. Below it, the cutting garden. Below the pool, a lawn, and below it, the vast new vegetable garden. At the extreme left, the orchard. At the bottom, bamboo groves that provide screening from the road. At the top, enormous beds of shrubbery and ornamental trees, through which paths lead up to the main house. Below the poolhouse, a huge pink-friendly garden; the other areas are yellow-friendly.