The creative reuse of existing landscape elements characterizes this project. In re-envisioning this eight-acre plot overlooking Peconic Bay, the landscape architect chose to honour and make use of the century-old cedar trees that gave the property its namesake. The existing trees were carefully dug and relocated to create a cedar grove, through which the new driveway meanders. The site is planted with a pallet of native woodland grasses and perennials. This woodland and meadow landscape extends north to the crest of the bluff, where it transitions into a naturalized buffer of beach plum and bayberry as the land falls away.
In order to take advantage of views to the Peconic Bay – several 100-year-old cedar trees were at risk for removal. The landscape architect advocated for preserving and relocating these as a way to preserve the existing coastal native vegetation. This allowed for the sites historic and environmental context to be maintained. The design team oversaw and facilitated the meticulous process of preserving, digging, and relocating the existing cedars on the property.
As the driveway meanders through the newly transplanted cedar grove, filtered views to the bay and new residence are revealed. As one draws closer to the new residence, a more tailored landscape was developed through massing’s of evergreen shrubs, flowering trees, and grasses. Juxtaposition is created through the contrast of the more tailored landscape and woodland meadow.
A glass-enclosed, indoor swimming pool attached to the south side of the house furnishes panoramic views on three sides, bringing the outdoors in. On the east side, against the backdrop of the boxwoods lining the drive, a small courtyard garden centers on a carefully chosen and placed specimen Japanese maple. To the west of the pool, lies a small courtyard garden encompassed by grasses and native Sweetbay Magnolias. Additional flowering trees including Witch Hazel, and Japanese Snowbells contribute seasonal interest and dappled shade to the courtyard.
A creative reuse of existing landscape elements characterized this project. The clients tore down and replaced a one-hundred-year-old house with a new residence. Rather than start from scratch, however, in redesigning the landscape, an eight-acre plot on a bluff overlooking Peconic Bay, the LaGuardia team chose to make use of the century-old cedar trees that give the property its name.
These were carefully dug and moved to create a cedar forest by the street through which the new curving drive wound its way. The ground underneath and around these cedars was planted to a native woodland meadow of tufted hairgrass. As the drive pulls up in front of the house, a more domesticated landscape was developed by enclosing the house with massed American boxwood and holly osmanthus shaded by specimen trees. A pair of mature-sized tupelos was introduced to supplement the existing oaks. Around this informal shrubbery border extends a softer ground layer of Pennsylvania sedge and fountain grass.
A glass-enclosed, indoor swimming pool attached to the south side of the house furnished panoramic views on three sides and opportunities to bring the outdoors inside. On the east side, against the backdrop of the boxwoods lining the drive, a small Zen-inspired garden centers on a carefully chosen and placed specimen Japanese maple. Outside the opposite, west, side of the pool, lies a terrace, paved with irregular stone flags. Two irregularly contoured beds flank this, offering lush plantings of specimen sweet bay magnolias and specimen Japanese snowbells, under-planted with dwarf fothergilla, fountain grasses, and a frame of boxwoods.
Across a sweep of lawn to the west of the house, an outdoor dining table was set in a peninsula of turf extending back among specimen cedars that were brought in to supplement the natural growth. Thoughtfully placed to frame views of the bay, these trees create a savannah-like setting interspersed with drifts of native little bluestem and switchgrass. This wood and meadow landscape extends north to the crest of the bluff, where it shades into a naturalized buffer strip of beach plum and bayberry as the land falls away.
Landscape Architecture: LaGuardia Design Group
Project Location: Southampton, NY
LDG Team: Chris LaGuardia, Conor McInerney hcedar-crest
– ASLA NY | Merit Award | Cedar Crest Architect
– James Merrell Architects Contractors
– Aran Construction
– Renner Landscaping
– Inter-Science Research Inc.
– Orsman Design Photography
– Eric Striffler
– Anthony Crisafulli