The house and gardens of Rock Ford Farm were built for a client with a keen interest in architecture, history, and gardening. The landscape architect was commissioned to fit the house into the landscape and shape the gardens to reflect the periods and varying scales of the new house. Sited by the landscape architect, the house straddles a dominant ridgeline maximizing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding rolling pastures. Mature and distinctive hardwood trees were preserved to provide age and a sense of scale while the site was carefully graded and terraced. Trees were selectively culled to open views to the floodplain and Rappahannock River beyond. This approach seamlessly knit the house and gardens into the agrarian landscape.

The house, while entirely new construction, reflects several architectural periods including a mid-18th-century farm-style barn, an early 19th-century brick cottage, and the largest component, a mid-19th-century Greek Revival core. The site and gardens are arranged along the ridgeline and oriented along a north-south axis. The sequence begins with the driveway and entrance court then passes through the house to a large lawn contained by transplanted American Boxwoods. The East Wing was integrated into the landscape through a kitchen garden and terraced orchard. To the south, the 19th-century perennial garden unfolds, followed by the sunken water garden bringing the sound of water to the large entertaining terrace and lawn. The west slope of the house steps gently down to a secluded swimming pool “room” built around spectacular views of the Blue Ridge to the northwest.

  • 2014 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, Potomac Chapter