Much has happened since we last wrote about a new house we designed on Gap Cove in Rockport, MA back in June. We’re happy to report that after a historically difficult 2015 winter the general contractor, Skinner and Watkins, recovered…
Our landscape architect, Matthew Cunningham, and our landscape contractor, Martin Lucyk, have been making great strides with the completion of the landscape installation at our Mystic Lake house, and a viable (and beautiful!) alternative to suburban lawns and foundation planting is quickly coming to life!
Matthew’s design philosophy begins with the concept that “a garden is a living organism, evolving over time.” This is already palpable, as one gets the strong sense that this landscape on Mystic Lake will develop over time and heal its site, becoming verdant woodland and erasing memories of the traditional suburban landscape that once was, as well as memories of the cacophony of almost a year of construction. The primary character of the landscape will be woodland, but the heavily vegetated front and sides of the site do gradually open up to a small, terraced lawn on the lake side of the house. This is consistent with the house’s architecture, which likewise opens up gradually but dramatically towards the lake. With time, landscape and house will become one.
Plants at the front and sides of the house will be primarily native species, but will also include some of the more mature broad leafed evergreens that surrounded the original house, which have been transplanted along the northern property line. Featured plants include sweet fern, fothergilla, witch hazel, clethra, bayberry, and gooseberry, as well as birch and ash trees.
All of the granite paving slabs have been carefully placed throughout the site; you might recall from our July 29th post that all of this masonry was salvaged from an IKEA construction site in Somerville, highlighting our (not only Matthew and Ruhl Walker, but also the homeowners) passionate interest in sustainable design. Next week’s tasks will include the hydro-seeding of the lake-side lawn, installation of the porous asphalt driveway in the front, and moss-tucking in all the granite slab joints. Hay bales and silt fencing will be able to be removed in late September, so keep coming back for updates!