The sixty acres farm in Rhode Island came with charmingly weathered shingle buildings—and a prize of a 360-degree sweep of pristine coastal countryside. However, the site lacked cohesive structure. The main house, guest cottage, vegetable patch, and tennis court seemed almost randomly scattered among the open fields. Our goal was to enhance the beauty already here by creating a sense of progression, scale, and discovery.
Mature trees were planted along the entrance drive to dignify it as a rustic allée. The patterning of split-rail fences and granite gateposts, fieldstone walls and paths, hedges and grass-and-gravel lanes punctuates the residential estate. Boundary lines as neat as crop rows parse distinct areas, such as the donkey paddock and the enlarged cutting garden. Billowy shrubs and perennials soften transitions and gently shape intimate enclosures. East of the main house, full-grown trees were culled or transplanted and vast swathes of earth recontoured as open green-space, transforming piecemeal glimpses into a panoramic view of the Narragansett Bay.