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Prince Edward County Retreat

Landscape Architect Scott Wentworth Landscape Group Ltd. www.swlg.ca

Photography Robert Harris Photography Inc. www.robertharrisphoto.com


A Home in Wine Country Canada written by Debra Usher When looking for a place to get away from it all, most people choose a place that represents a different lifestyle than they are used to in their primary residence. Some homeowners want a country getaway, but also yearn for a place on the water where they can enjoy water sports and boating, as well as just spending long, lazy days and nights watching the sun reflect off the lake. Prince Edward County in Ontario is the ideal location for such a retreat – it satisfies the need to get away from the daily hustle of a busy city life, and allows the visitor or homeowner a wide range of both social and recreational activities. Being in the heart of a growing new winery community offers a chance for countless numbers of both wine and food tasting events. Sampling the best of the local harvest in a primarily agricultural area allows you some of the freshest

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produce and dairy products around. While you might choose to escape from the world and just watch the sun go down, you can also sail, golf, play tennis, sample some of the latest vintages and meet a wide range of artists and craftspeople in their studios. Prince Edward County offers great shopping and some unique and wonderful restaurants. Whether it’s R & R or a more active lifestyle you’re after, there are many opportunities for both cultural and culinary excursions. In an area rich with beautiful driving routes, one can see orchards, pastures and horse farms mixed with glimpses of the Bay of Quinte across beautifully tended lawns or rugged and grassy fields. An eclectic mix of century homes and classic new builds dot the landscape, with the oldest house dating back over 200 years. The area is a homeowner’s dream in that each place seems to have a truly individual style.

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A Unique and Special Vision Some of Prince Edward County’s newest residents have decided to live here permanently. Commuting back and forth didn’t suit their lifestyle or career, so they were looking for a beautiful place to build or renovate for a primary residence. ‘The County’ fits the bill perfectly. With virtual businesses being run from any location, the new homeowner must have a place that satisfies many needs. In the case of Kim Lander, the needs were quite simple but involved a lot of thought and ambitious plans. With the help of her landscape architects, she was able to make an outdoor playground for herself and all the friends and family she likes to entertain. Just beyond the back door. A great patio area allows for intimate entertaining or large parties. The working outdoor kitchen and bar makes it easy to live outside when the wonderful summer weather is at its best. The outdoor fireplace and relaxing water features make this home an oasis from problems of the day. Mere steps from the beach, boating and water sports are close at hand, or just sit back and watch the waves dance in the wind.

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The Project When Kim Lander purchased her property in 2007 she loved the location but knew she had several years of renovations before the property and home would reflect her own personal style and preferences. An avid and competitive sailor, Kim also has an accounting background – the combination of riding the wind while controlling the numbers resulted in a unique design for her home. Built in 1952, the house is steel post and beam, without interior load-bearing walls. This allows for wide open spaces which is unusual in a house of that age. On the water side were 1980’s era overgrown gardens and timber frame steps with brick risers that weren’t in Kim’s vision at all. The driveway was uninviting and led straight to the garage. A lot had to change. Kim wanted to feel welcome when she drove up to her house and she wanted the same feeling for her guests. With a busy professional and volunteer schedule, Kim called in expert help from The Wentworth Landscape Group and began working with designer Jason Partridge. Since the property covers almost five acres, anything that was added

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to the landscape had to fit in style and size. Jason was quick to figure out the key elements of Kim’s personality that had to be incorporated into the design of the gardens and hardscaping around the property. With a need for a linear style and a love of the sun, the project had to reflect and answer a lot of needs. The Project In a place where all around nature is an inspiration, you want to ensure that you create beauty rather than take it away. This was achieved with great success and more importantly it achieved Kim’s vision of what her surroundings should look like. “I do a lot of entertaining and in my house everyone congregates in the kitchen,” laughs Kim. “I needed the outdoors to offer the same opportunities in a complementary setting.” The project took about four months to complete and went quite smoothly because of a great landscape team and a client who was very clear about articulating her wants and needs. “The home and landscape is a total extension of Kim’s lifestyle and who she is,” noted Jason. “The road approach is formal, the water side is built for

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entertaining with wide open spaces and intimate dining and lounge areas and it is definitely very personal to Kim.” The driveway is now a sweeping lane with gentle curves leading to a circular driveway at the formal entrance to the home. Large raised berms with plants arranged in a formal presentation bracket the length of the lane and there are terraced patios staggered down to the expansive lawn leading to the shoreline. In keeping with the geometry of the home, the lines are straight, precise and effective. The flow looks natural and the spaces reflect a perfect partnership – the home with the land. Key Elements of the Project One of the key elements that was important for Kim was a water feature with the sound and movement of water as a focal point. To give her what she wanted and create something spectacular, Jason took the design up a notch by adding a fire and water bowl. Much more than a simple fountain, the water feature is lined with glass mosaic tile in colours reflecting the water across the lawn. The lava

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rock with a gas flame sits in a copper bowl and the result is elemental and geometric – simple yet intriguing. Unique and specific to the site, Landscape Ontario gave a nod of approval with an Award of Excellence for the water feature. Because Kim entertains a lot, she needed an extensive outdoor entertainment space and cooking facilities. What was created was a large space with wonderful conversation areas all around a fully equipped outdoor kitchen. As in the house, this is the ‘room’ where everyone congregates. The outdoor cooking area boasts a granite counter atop stone cabinetry, highlighted by copper lights. The bar top is similar to the mosaic of the fountain, tying the entertainment area all together. The Garden Surrounding the more formal hardscapes are deliberate yet subtle gardens, which again have clean lines but a lot of movement and energy. The raised planting berms along the driveway appear sculpted and a careful planting of a limited selection of plants kept the lines very clean.

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Closer to the house and around the entertainment area, patches of tall ornamental grasses add geometric interest and tranquility as they gently sway in the wind. Understated lighting transforms the space at dusk and into the night, so the gardens and patio can be enjoyed at all hours. Closer to the water, the jewel in this projects sits waiting patiently for the homeowner when she needs a place to get away from it all. “Jason knew I practiced yoga and meditation and came to me with a design for a serenity garden,” explained Kim. “I was very touched that they had thought of a place just for me, when all along I stressed the need for an entertainment space. They gave me a place I can hide from the world.” Kim’s special hideaway is nestled near the water and truly captures her love of sailing while providing a private retreat. The “Nest Rest” – a huge teardrop cocoon suspended from an aluminum mast and boom – was designed by Jason to emulate the structure of a sailboat over a garden of lavender. As the Nest Rest sways, it stirs the calming scent and soothes a busy soul. Rock a bye baby…

Arabella Summer Dreams 2013


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