Salisbury, CT

This 400-acre estate features forty acres of designed native meadows and many acres of managed woodlands. A series of pocket landscapes were also designed to highlight and enhance the property’s diverse array of existing microhabitats. For over a decade, the introduced native plants have been dispersing their seeds while invasive species have been carefully controlled, shifting the ecological dynamic to the point that native species now dominate and even proliferate into unplanted areas. Consequently, upkeep is a fraction of that needed for comparably sized properties. Yet it is the raw beauty of this place and its evolution in concert with thoughtful management that is most compelling and uplifting: to experience it is to sense how humans can engage in a dance with the land itself. (Click for more on this estate.)

This property received the Place Maker Award from the Foundation for Landscape Studies (2011) and is included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens. The meadows were featured in the Landscape Architecture Magazine (Dec. 2014), the Ecological Landscape Alliance summer tour series (2014), the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Garden Dialogues tour series (2012), The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program (2009), Wildflower Magazine (2009), and The New York Times (2008). The property is also a participating site in an ongoing insect diversity study conducted by the Farmscape Ecology Program.

Formal gardens: Rodney Robinson Landscape Architects.