At Juniper Hill Farm, a rustic backyard will get construction from formal design

November 23, 2021

Connections to gardeners I’ve made as a author typically lead, like beads on a string, to new introductions and far-flung backyard visits. In such a roundabout manner I had the pleasure final month of assembly photographer Joe Valentine and his spouse, Paula, for a private tour of their oft-written-about backyard in Francestown, New Hampshire. On that cool, early October morning, as mist burned off surrounding fields, I arrived at Joe and Paula’s 1789 espresso-brown dwelling.

A wavy-picket gate between tough granite pillars is invitingly propped open. Colourful containers and pumpkins add to the nice and cozy welcome.

You learn that proper: 1789. Is there something in Austin constructed earlier than 1840? The architectural historical past of New England stretches again a lot farther, however this can be a easy farmhouse, Joe defined, with an addition tacked on and an enormous previous barn out again. Initially he and Paula used the place as their weekend getaway, however 20 years in the past the house and its 30 acres grew to become their year-round residence.

Contained in the entrance gate and a row of spherical boxwoods, an interior path runs alongside the entrance of the home.

With recommendation from a designer pal, Joe beginning creating the gardens that now wrap round the home and prolong out again towards a sheep pasture he and Paula lease to an area shepherd. Formal backyard rooms align with doorways and home windows to maximise views and make the home and backyard one. The largely geometric structure creates construction and axis views with out a trace of stiffness because of beneficiant plantings spilling over paths, ethereal decorative grasses bending within the breeze, and rough-mown meadow grass including shaggy texture amongst clipped boxwood.

A Japanese maple turning russet above the white plumes of a flowering grass

A courtyard backyard enclosed by a picket fence wraps across the aspect of the home.

As a result of New Hampshire winters are lengthy and chilly, Joe makes use of granite pillars, picket fencing, arbors, pleached hedges, and many clipped boxwood for year-round construction that appears lovely underneath a layer of snow, when perennials are sleeping.

Granite pillars topped with spherical stones — New Hampshire is the Granite State, in any case — mark the entry to a kitchen backyard, the place late-season greens and colourful nasturtiums spill from a raised planter field.

A chic-rustic desk and chairs supply a eating spot for a freshly harvested lunch.

Black cohosh (Actaea racemose), a local perennial with tall, bottlebrush flower spikes, stands out in opposition to the dark-brown home.

Juniper Hill’s massive purple barn makes a picturesque backdrop.

In one other backyard room off the again of the barn, a tall wood grid frames views of the backyard whereas defining area.

Late-season flowers had been nonetheless going.

Backlit by the morning solar, this purple-flowering orange succulent caught my eye. Beautiful!

Extra backlighting set purple foliage on hearth.

A bit stone owl perching on a pillar

A swimming pool hides from the home behind clipped hedges and a proper row of timber.

Swimming season was over and the pool coated throughout my go to. Besides, a good-looking, swoop-roofed poolhouse, modeled on a pair of gazebos at Hidcote backyard in England, attracts the attention.

With double doorways flung open…

…and comfortably furnished, it appears like an inviting spot to whereas away the afternoon.

A reasonably urn

Joe constructed the poolhouse himself with assist from an area carpenter. It’s equally magnetic as seen from a extra informal aspect backyard path.

Again alongside a boxwood-edged, mown-grass path…

…one other country-formal backyard room seems, this one centered round an armillary sphere. Alongside a split-rail fence, a berry-blue bench gives a splash of coloration. Pillars topped with granite orbs echo clipped boxwood mounds softened by shaggy grass. Mowed strips make easygoing pathways.

One other bench underneath a latttice gazebo presents a aspect view of the backyard. Think about how fairly the pillars, boxwood balls, and benches look underneath a layer of snow.

Tall decorative grasses make a residing, transferring wall.

However the lattice arbor presents a view into the sheep pasture.

Espalier encloses one aspect of the backyard and pleached hedges one other.

The softening motion of grasses…

…and formally framed views — defining options of this country-formal backyard in autumn.

The backyard will get shaggier and extra rustic as you strategy the sheep pasture.

What a stupendous nation view

Heading again to the home gardens…

…we noticed this little fellow within the grass.

You’re all the time stepping by means of portals in Joe’s backyard, entryways into the subsequent backyard room. Divided into narrowing and wider areas on this manner, every hidden from the opposite, the backyard acquires a way of thriller and pleasure. What’s going to come subsequent?

Sunburst paving element at one threshold

Beneath this charming double-rebar arch, a wood gate and finials are painted vivid berry-blue.

A wider view exhibits head-high hedges wrapping round this area, hiding it till you arrive on the arched gate.

Surprises await at each flip.

A spacious potting barn holds a protracted desk and some instruments.

A burgundy cordyline in an elevated urn attracts the attention towards a small pond close to the home.

A Greek temple-style folly, furnished with a pair of chairs, overlooks the pond. Joe modeled it on Prince Charles’s temple folly at Highgrove Home, a backyard he’s visited on his many excursions of English gardens.

Driftwood-like branches of juniper adorn the pediment. Inside, ornamentation is restricted to a cultured wood solar…

…and animal cranium with a feather butterfly. (To learn extra about Joe’s folly obsession, click on for a superb article in New Hampshire Residence.)

The frog pond, with backlit autumn foliage and dewy pasture past

My because of Joe and Paula for welcoming us into their lovely backyard and sharing its story!

Up subsequent: The Peterborough, NH, backyard of Michael Gordon, awash in purple asters. For a glance again at my tour of Lee, NH’s Bedrock Gardens, half 2, a non-public artist’s backyard turned public backyard, click on right here.

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