Bridgehampton, New York
Located on two acres of a former horse farm, this house and landscape include references to the site’s past in such details as the surrounding paddock-style fencing. These features lend the residence an air of rusticity, as well as integrating the landscape with the still active polo ground and horse paddocks that are its view across the road.
The design group also enhanced the landscape’s rustic appearance with both the planting and the hardscape. Fescue meadows flourish around the property’s perimeter, and a tousled but disciplined expanse of shorter native grasses – prairie dropseed and wavy hair grass – frames the front entry way of the house in a refined reference to the pasture that formerly occupied this site. A stone retaining wall and the edge of the swimming pool are both capped with a coping of snapped edge bluestone, again enhancing the rustic feel of the landscape. Instead of a diving board, the pool is equipped with a monumental diving rock, a slab of stone that was carefully selected and tagged in an upstate New York quarry
Unlike many other retreats on the eastern end of Long Island this one functions as a year-round residence. For this reason, there is an emphasis around the house on evergreens, especially boxwood, which ensure year-round interest. The boxwoods, which embrace the foundation of the house in an irregular drift, have been clipped for a more refined look, and will, as they expand, merge into cloud-like masses.
This evergreen backbone is reinforced by the planting of trees and shrubs such as specimen blueberries, crape myrtles, and a spectacular copper beech whose strong and distinctive branching structure and textural barks will emerge to display their beauty during the colder months when the foliage has fallen away. Including winterberry hollies in the meadows has ensured that flashes of red fruits will illuminate them when the grasses are dormant, as well as providing food for over-wintering songbirds.