Distinctive Landscaping – Miles Weston & Christian D’Andrea

Charlotte, VT 

Hillside Challenge 

Merit Award 

The challenge with this site was to allow for quality outdoor spaces within the steep confines of a mountain slope. We began by cutting the grade for the front yard and building a boulder retaining wall into the north slope. Drainage was installed behind the wall that daylights into a naturally wet meadow south of the house. Above the wall, a variety of wildflower seeds and plugs of wet-loving perennials were planted within the jute mesh to naturally stabilize this steep slope that seeped even parts during the driest parts of the summer.

The front walk was built of large rectangular paving stones with lawn joints to break up the formality of a pure stone walk. Foundation plantings include Ferns and Carex, punctuated with Tiarella and Scabiosa.

On the south side of the house we pushed grade out as far as possible, and nestled in a pea stone patio shaded from the western sun by native trees.

Once we designed the grades and terraces, we dealt with the sloping hillside. We designated a small grass “hub”, eight feet below the terrace level. From here, grass paths and a stone stairway lead up. A mass planting of Stephanandra retains the upper slopes and the re-graded lower slopes were stabilized with wild flowers.