Old Brookville, NY
(2005 - 2010)

The landscape masterplan of the Cedars was inspired by the historic house and remnant elements of its original gardens, farm and woodlands. A vestige of an axial garden inspired the creation of an east-west axis that extends from one end of the property to the other, providing the site with a spine that connects a diverse variety of garden rooms and spaces from woodland gardens to formal gardens to agricultural fields. Walls, hedges and masses of plants are used to structure these garden rooms, which range in scale and formality. All are designed to emphasize seasonality, color, light and habitat with these qualities changing from one space to the next.

The terrace gardens and courts around the house are an extension of the indoor spaces with intricate paving details, billowing boxwood, colorful plant combinations and culinary herbs. Extending beyond the house at the end of the Long Walk (the main cross axis) are walled gardens with an Asiatic plant collection in the more intimate and shady Secret Garden to the south and espaliered fruit trees and vegetables in the sunny Greenhouse Garden to the north. Reaching beyond are less formal gardens, like the woodland stroll park at the entrance with its large masses of rhododendrons and bottlebrush buckeye. A circular space, bounded by understory trees and shrubs, emphasizes the open and high canopy of an existing mature pine grove.

The pool and pool house mediate between the pine grove and pond, with meadow grasses and perennials wrapping the stone walls. The pond is surrounded by native wetland plants, with the exception of a band of ornamental (mainly Asiatic plants) linking the Secret Garden to the Chinese pavilion on the south island of the pond. Beyond the pond, recreational spaces (like the tennis court, soccer field, and golf greens) are part of the working area of the property, intertwined with a cutting garden and agricultural plots. The perimeter of the property is characterized by natural woodland, where young saplings and shade perennials inhabit the understory and ground plane.

Collaborators: Cicognani Kalla Architects, VHB Engineering, Ronkonkoma Electric, Jerry La Rue, Maggie Guisto/Pat McGillicuddy, Roy Anderson Associates, John O'Connell, MDS Equipment Co., Whitmore's Landscaping, Wonderland Tree Care, Gibbons Pools, Walpole Woodworkers, Tennis Planning Corp, Fairfield Woodworks, Tebbens Steel