Thursday, October 2, 2014

Applewood Estate | Part I | Landscape Design


The Jacobean estate was designed by Herbert E. Davis of the New York firm, Davis, McGrath and Kiessling.  The original  landscape architect was William Chase Pitkin, Jr. (1884-1972), of  the Cleveland-based landscape architectal firm, Pitkin and Mott.  
Carl D. Johnson directed the rehabilitation of the plan beginning in 1977. 

The Estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

Five tall upright arborvitae placed in two rows serve as a barrier, provide visual layers, and frame the house and orchard. In the winter, the snow covered Goliath sized soldiers protect the house and drive from blustery winds and drifts.

Under the Spreading Old Maple Tree a tremendous canopy gives shade and protection on a hot sunny day. The maple tree is synonymous with Michigan’s neighbor Canada and the maple producing state of Vermont. 
Maple trees produce a samara type seed that all young children equate with the enjoyment of throwing the “helicopter” in the air and watching the  twirling rotations as the seed lands safely on the ground and learn a valuable lesson in physics.

Of course, the estate has a utility area with greenhouses that serve as the engine of the garden, providing a work area for horticulturists and meeting area for like minded green thumbs to congregate and share their favorite topics.  

An adjacent colorful cutting garden is planted with perennials and annuals.

Cutting Garden

Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas)

The formal garden area is useful for purposeful social activities for the family and more intimate outings. All good landscape designers siting views from the interior windows try to provide visually pleasing vignettes, inviting visitors to explore the curiosities and beauty of nature. In this formal setting, the perpendicular axis is divided into thirds. This first room, adjacent to the house is a study of circles. The fountain is a lovely blue surrounded by vibrant pinks. 

Storyteller Bench

Further back, is a horseshoe shaped sitting area repeating the geometryA delightful mosaic storybench accents the area.  The landscape is surrounded by spring flowering ornamental Malus trees, a vinca minor ground cover and fall blooming autumn crocus. 

Spring flowering ornamental Malus trees, vinca minor ground cover, and fall blooming autumn crocus.

The exterior corner is punctuated with Limelight hydrangea.
Exterior corner, Limelight Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’)
The blooms are white, turning pink in the autumn.

Additional areas of the formal garden.

A Japanese Tea Room punctuates another corner
Japanese Tea Room

The Rose Garden

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