Highland Mede: A Chester County Retreat

copyright Danilo Maffei/Maffei Landscape Design LLC

copyright Danilo Maffei/Maffei Landscape Design LLC
The sunroom gardens with stone "fences"
The gardens of this private residence (built in 2006) were designed with 18th century American agricultural practices in mind while acknowledging modern needs and sensibilities. Spaces are defined by stone “fences” and contain uses that are supportive of the activities located inside the dwelling.

Materials such as natural fieldstone and gravel reflect indigenous sources that would have been typical of the time period, while brick and bluestone suggest more refined tastes and ample resources.

copyright Danilo Maffei/Maffei Landscape Design LLC
The "Library Patio"


Plant selections draw from long-time European favorites, such as hollies and boxwood, and local natives such as Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) and Winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata) which combine characteristics of easy care, deer resistance and multiple seasons of interest.

copyright Danilo Maffei/Maffei Landscape Design LLC
The Kitchen Garden












The dwelling, designed by Wayne Simpson Architect of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is an adaptation of the owner's ancestral home known as Primitive Hall, the residence of Judge Joseph Pennock built in 1738. 

This modern abode interprets the traditional design for contemporary living, with numerous opportunities for connecting physically and visually with the outdoors, blurring the line between architecture and nature.

copyright Danilo Maffei/Maffei Landscape Design LLC
The front entrance with parking forecourt
As active members of the Chester County equestrian community, the owners embrace Highland Mede as their home, stable and sanctuary where the owners are just a likely to be found exercising and training their horses as they are casually strolling the gardens at dusk or entertaining family, friends and clients.



copyright Danilo Maffei/Maffei Landscape Design LLCcopyright Danilo Maffei/Maffei Landscape Design LLC

copyright Danilo Maffei/Maffei Landscape Design LLC
The "Sun Room Patio"
The home and gardens have been become a local favorite and are to be featured on the Bayard Taylor Library Home & Garden Tour on June 1, 2013.



Longwood Gardens Student Exhibition 2013 Opens



"Somewhere In Time"
Matt and Sandra drew their inspiration from Victorian era glass houses that were used to display tender aquatic plants and tropical trees. Their garden offers a vision of what that glass house might look like if it the garden gates were locked up and all was abandoned, allowing nature to take its course.


This year's theme, "Behind The Garden Gates", challenged Longwood Garden's Professional Gardener Program senior class to consider the garden in an abstract way. Artistically inspired interpretations of a gate and a keyhole, the convergence of man and nature, the legacy of an industrialist and his first endeavor and the dream-like vision of opulence forgotten are the four concepts explored by these eight students.

"The Gate and the Keyhole"
Meg and Tim devised a series of vertical pales with holes bored through at various heights, offering the garden visitor a chance to view their lush displays of bromeliads and ornamental grasses with unique perspectives.

Since 2010 Danilo Maffei has teamed with Longwood Gardens' Professional Gardener Program, educating the next generation of world-class horticulturists. The two year curriculum includes three courses on landscape design, which Mr. Maffei teaches over a period of 13 months. Students are challenged to create gardens that fit Longwood's thematic programming and adhere to their exacting standards for display, horticulture and education. Graduates of the program go on to careers in public and private concerns across the country and around the world.

"Behind the First Garden Gate"
Alana and Ila delved into the archives to snatch an image of what Longwood's founder, Pierre S. du Pont, might have first created at this world-renowned garden.

Mr. Maffei educates and advises the students as they learn the principles and practices of landscape design, including making a formal presentation to Longwood's Board of Trustees Advisory Committee. The students work within a set budget and must use plants as the dominant feature, using available resources and their own ingenuity to create and maintain individual expressions that endure for six months. The gardens are on display through October 15 and are part of regular admission to Longwood Gardens.

"Human vs. Nature"
Greg and Mike created a comparative portrait of nature's influence on modern gardens and man's presence in the wilds.


In The Field: 1960 Contemporary Garden Nears Completion


A view from the street of the nearly complete front entrance.

This project in Greenville, Delaware left the drawing board in the summer of 2012 and as 2013 rings in, the owners are seeing their vision of maximizing the usefulness of their property become a reality. The contractors broke ground shortly after Labor Day and Maffei Landscape Design has been working closely with the owner and the site supervisor to assure every detail is properly tended to.

Detail view of the front door with its refurbished, original railing.

 Because of careful planning and lots of experience on the part of the contractor, the work has flowed very smoothly from one trade to another, and there is just about every trade working on this site. Masons, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters as well as excavators, metal fabricators and, yes, horticulturists have shared the small space with great efficiency. Once spring arrives with its warmer temperatures and availability of the remainder of the plant list, the final touches will be placed on the garden and the owners will have their home to themselves again.


We have prepared a detailed record of the entire project with step by step photographs and descriptions on our Facebook page. Click here to go directly to the album, or visit http://www.facebook.com/MaffeiLandscapeDesign .