Trade Secrets 2015: Rockwood Farm

When a pair of professional landscape designers tackle their own landscape, the result is clever, calm, and seductively understated. The Bennetts spent years searching for just the right property, and found it in Cornwall where they built a reproduction of a Deerfield Colonial and moved a 200-year-old early Dutch anchor beam barn from New York State. Weaving together the structures and their horse pasture, they strove to create a landscape that would “speak of the mutual love we have for New England history, casual ambiance, and personal comfort.” Two watchwords, which guided every step along the journey, were “serviceable and sustainable.”

With that mantra in mind, they surrounded the front courtyard of the house with a 100-year-old wrought iron cemetery fence to shoulder espalier fruit trees—now bearing a harvest. For a back courtyard, they laid a fieldstone terrace with planting pockets where perennials pop up to give a sense of spontaneity. Pathways are of fieldstone harvested from the property and accents include an antique water pump and cauldrons as planters. Plinths elevate containers spilling along the woodland path that bursts into blossom with camassia, tulips, May apple, Solomon’s seal, plus a carpet of other precocious performers in spring. A deer fence protects the landscape, and an organic vegetable garden adds to the sustainable/serviceable aspect of this lovely home.

Click images below to enlarge.