Landscape Innovator Winners

From Sharon to Greenwich: imaginative solutions for landscaping grounds of any size.

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At a former christmas tree farm, inspired landscape design honors the past with a design for the present

Janice Parker began working with Turkey Hill owners interior designer Darren Henault and Michael Bassett when the property was still a somewhat-derelict Christmas tree farm. “At one point, the tree farm could have all gone away,” says Parker. Instead, they decided to honor the agrarian roots of the site and, in an inspired moment, use the crop of Douglas firs as the raw stuff of hedges.

“It was irresistible,” notes Parker. A crew was able to move eight trees per day, and with those trees, she created double hedges surrounding two large garden rooms: the pool garden and a lawn room. She figures they used about 400 of the existing fir trees.

An extensive site study revealed several mature trees also worth preserving: Maples, fruit trees and chestnuts, plus two weeping Norway spruces. A large old apple is at the center of a broad arc of new, spicy-scented Korean lilacs, which frames the end of one lawn and partially screens the orchard behind, an area created from where the 400 Christmas trees were removed.  

“The process of construction is also the process of destruction,” Parker says. “This used to worry me a lot. But Mother Nature is incredibly generous, and if you show some respect and give it a little time, she will take care of the rest.”

Forty-acre Turkey Hill, a work in progress, is still offering opportunities for development in every direction. “The clients were willing to take the risk,” says Parker. “In fact the best line of the project—and it is from my clients—is ‘Go big or go home!’”

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