ST. MARY'S RIVER HOUSE
This riverside home in St. Mary's, MD is a weekend retreat for our clients that primarily reside in Georgetown. These homeowners are keen to manage the land in a sustainable way, therefore we have kept the turf areas to a minimum opting instead to establish a palette of different meadow types (tall meadow, low meadow, riverine meadow, etc). When our clients purchased the land, the area between the house and the adjoining St. Mary's River was impenetrable - the buffer between the land and river was thick with invasive vines and trees. We cleared this parcel and planted with riverine buffer plants such as switchgrass and swamp mallow.
Areas around the house and pool are planted with a mix of hardy herbs, rugosa roses and summer perennials. The pool terrace itself is composed of large pavers planted with mazus.
While cleaning the land we discovered a beautiful leaning tuliptree, which we kept, and later discovered that an osprey used this tree for nesting. We worked with the owner and builder on establishing a dock for small canoes and boats, boulder steps leading to the dock’s edge, fencing for the pool and vegetable gardens, as well as a planting, lighting, and irrigation design.
The last parcel of land that is being cleared is opposite their front meadow. As the clients (who have been enjoying the hard work of clearing the land) are a bit spent, they have outsourced the initial clearing to a herd of goats. These goats have been doggedly eating invasive weeds and shrubs, even pulling ivy from tree trunks.
Credits: Allen Russ Photography