On The Drawing Board: Chester County Farmhouse

Nestled among the rolling hills of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania is this stone farmhouse built in 1860, where the owners have spent the past eight years restoring and improving this beautiful example of Chester County vernacular architecture. With those efforts well in hand they are turning their attention to the outdoors, specifically the space associated with a spring-fed pond on the east side of the property.

Like most water-edge landscapes, the space affords lovely views and tremendous opportunity but can be difficult to maintain with traditional (i.e. mowed lawn, mulched bed shrub borders, etc) methods due to wet soils, steep embankments and indigenous or naturalized wildlife. Having become frustrated with that course of action, the owners turned to Maffei Landscape Design, LLC to prepare an overarching vision for the pond area and a planting plan to address a particularly boggy area at the end of the pond nearest the house.

The master plan was developed through careful site analysis that took into consideration pedestrian circulation, ideal views, available usable space and natural landforms. A path was created that enabled guests to move around the pond and connect with the water's edge at two key points, one of them being a small space large enough for two people to sit with their feet in the water or get into a rowboat, the other a "party dock" with dramatic views back to the house and large enough for dining or dancing.
Future view from the "party dock"
Spaces around the pond are organized by the physical and cultural characteristics present, there being three: pond edge, riparian zone and swale. Each of these cultural environments support different plant types and feature their own distinct aesthetic. By identifying and delineating these environments we can create a landscape plan that will take full advantage of the plants that will thrive there with the least amount of effort and look great!
Concept Plan
Planting Plan
Using the master plan to define the context, a planting plan was created as the first phase to be installed in spring of 2012. A "path" of partially buried, vertical tree trunk sections will provide access for maintenance and to the water's edge for recreation. Bands of plants were defined based on soil types and the degree of moisture typically found there, ranging from submerged aquatics such as hardy waterlily to moisture-tolerant perennials you might find in a traditional border, like Purple Coneflower, Smooth Oxeye and Shenandoah Switchgrass.
Detail view of log round steppers

Planting Plan detail

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