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Site design that integrates a new hilltop home into the surrounding landscape.

Private Client | Littleton, MA

For this new hilltop home, RDG worked with the client from the early stages of site development through plant installation and monitoring. The landscape program sought to seamlessly integrate the primary house and guest house into the hilltop while minimizing impacts from new construction and softening the surrounding steep slopes. In addition to detailed plant design, services included identifying optimal access and building sites, and management guidance for forest regeneration and meadow establishment.

Outside the main house’s southeast face, the patio space spills into terraces featuring fruit trees and berry bushes, including persimmon, plum, peach, cherry, and honeyberry. Native shrubs and herbaceous perennials round out the palette, offering texture, color, and pollinator support. The steeper slopes are seeded with a meadow mix. The dynamic palette of Little Bluestem ‘Camper’, Switchgrass, ‘Shawnee’, Cornflower, Shasta Daisy, Narrowleaf Mountainmint, Wild Bergamot, Red Corn poppy, Oxeye Sunflower, Sideoats Grama, Virginia Wildrye helps to minimize mowing while adding four-season interest. Together, the terraces and meadow help to ‘knit’ the new buildings into the landscape, contributing to landscape diversity while enhancing viewsheds.

Collaborators: Purpose + Design, Architects; Hedgewitch Horticulture, Gardeners

Key Features

  • Edible landscaping
  • Hillside meadow

Services Provided

  • Site analysis
  • Schematic design
  • Environmental permitting
  • Detailed planting plans
  • Implementation oversight

The woods on site have been clear-cut several times over the last two decades. Many of the oak and maple stumps have multiple leggy sprouts and a thick flush of birch saplings has emerged, creating overly dense growth. Regenerating the forest edge for a legible, healthy woodland involves identifying desired saplings and stump sprouts and removing the remaining plants mechanically or by hand to allow a woodland of healthy density to establish. Understory plants can seeded by hand, or existing desired plants identified and encouraged.”

Landscape Establishment Guidelines and Timeline Document

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