Glendale: 20 years of Soul Conservation, Somerset, VA
Meditation garden designed in 1995, inspired by Julie Moir Messervy's Inward Garden archetypes, the clients' meditation practice, and a 'cosmic tree', a nyssa sylvatica with a 78' canopy. Clients escaped their corporate rat race to live, farm and teach in Orange County Virginia, near the James and Dolley Madison home, Montpelier, now conserved and open to the public by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Somerset-Barboursville Piedmont landscape is timeless, open, rolling, with views of the Blue Ridge, and in large part conserved in perpetuity from development. Clients donated development rights to Virginia Outdoors Foundation, thus placing a conservation easement on Glendale and protecting it as a farm in perpetuity.
Updates in 2015 focused on invasive plant management and removal and replacement with native sourwood, virginia sweet spire, and switch grass. Stone foundations and dry shady areas under the roof overhang were carpeted with Moerings Sempergreen sedum carpet mix for low maintenance and year round interest. Beds were narrowed for lower maintenance and lawn expanded with native fine fescue sod from Somerset Seed and Sod. Project accomplished with local growers and talent in preparation for APLD 2015 international conference tour of Piedmont gardens.
Collaborators include Jessica Primm, RLA, on the original design in the late 90's, Brent's Native Plantings for fine gardening/maintenance, and Melanie Kearney VT LAR graduate, current design/best practices, and Robert Bradford Construction&Renovation for new stone steps and invasive plant removal and re-grading.