Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Featured Project: Poconos Summer Cabin

Entry landscape, with raingarden bottom right.

In early 2010 we began working with a client at their lake front property in the Poconos.  The existing landscape design tied the home into the surrounding woodland landscape and aimed to build on local native plant communities.  Beyond the installation of prescribed  stonework and planting we were also responsible for further development of the client's initial design.

Entry steps and landing (walls not constructed by Land Stewards)

The project features a great deal of stone work.  In naturalistic gardens like this one, we want the stonework and boulders to blend into the landscape, appearing as if they were there all along.  Naturally irregular boulders were arranged to form steps, landings, and thresholds, making for beautiful transitions throughout the landscape.  Vegetated swales and raingardens were installed to facilitate the movement of water around the property away from the home, slowing and absorbing the water into the ground.

Raingarden plants:  Magnolia virginiana,  Juncus effusus,  Iris versicolor,  Hibiscus moscheutos
Roadside raingarden, intercepts stormwater from the road


Raingarden with nurselog (which quickly became a hangout for a local frog)

Mature oak and hemlock trees can be found all over the site.  Care was taken throughout the installation to protect these trees while site work and planting took place.  This helps to preserve the remaining canopy while we reestablish a healthy community of understory plants.

As the initial work around the home has been completed, we have now been able to focus our efforts to the peripheral areas of the property.  Unlike the immediate landscape outside the home, these areas require less direct input.  The lake is surrounded by a patchwork of  blueberries, black chokeberry, ferns and numerous other indigenous plants growing in wild populations.  Here we have taken more of a management stance in the landscape, suppressing the more aggressive patches of weedy plants while fostering existing healthy communities.  Into these bottomland areas we have also planted understory trees and shrubs.  Paw Paws (Asimina triloba) and Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) have been planted along the path leading down to the lake.  In time the patch of blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) will provide a nice trailside snack on the way down to the dock.

Natural stone steps down to the dock.

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