Located at the foot of Old Rag Mountain in Madison County this rugged site is home to a former mill, a modest Victorian farmhouse, a tenant house, and two stream crossings. A mill race fed by the Hughes River on the southern property border remains intact. After consolidating several adjacent properties, building a significant addition to the farmhouse and detached garage, and constructing a pond above the mill race, the client approached ALA to devel­op a master plan to unify the disparate pieces.

The landscape is rugged and shaped by the harsh weather that sweeps down the north face of Old Rag. This inherited rusticity in­forms the master plans landscape approach which seeks to draw out and reinforce those characteristics in the new gardens.

Program elements included a new circulation pattern, entry court, pool and pavilion, mill race garden, and woodland paths. The most significant move afforded by the consolidation of properties is the use of the downstream crossing for the drive. The existing drive was a direct, unremarkable approach to the farmhouse from the south. The new route is a sweeping drive that emerges from the wood line to take advantage of the dramatic views of houses across a meadow with the craggy relief of Old Rag as a backdrop. Within the garden, spaces are ordered by axes informed by the strong energy of the mill race in the east/west direction, complemented by the energy of the pool orientation and freestanding fieldstone wall extending from the new garage at the same orientation. A third axis, oriented north/ south is centered on the bridge that connects the original house to the addition and links the two anchoring garden elements.

The first phase to be implemented included the pool garden and auto court between the addition and detached garage. Monolithic bluestone-clad pool rises out of meadow plantings of natives and ornamentals carefully balanced to feel of the place. Along the free­standing wall constructed with native fieldstone sit a rustic shade pavilion and a copper-clad spa.