Walling by the Decade

Part of what makes landscape art and design exciting for me is its cumulative effect on people and place.

When I began building stone features on Richard Epstein’s property more than ten years ago he had a unformed, but long term vision of the space around his cabin. He wanted to keep the sequestered feel of being in the deep woods. He also wanted to armor the slopes surrounding his home with stone.

To this end, we began by building a sunken patio to the southeast with stepped paths leading to a pond. A few years later, a raised pyramid, fire pit patio was created to the northeast. Stone steps replaced wood stairs at porch entrances.

As the works progressed around to the southwest, Richard’s design for an outdoor shower was realized. A spiraling path through a canyon of high stone walls ended at a cave-like enclosure complete with hot and cold running water.

Last year the western slope that rose from the driveway to the front door was stepped and terraced and large stone features added.

Additional flat work, outdoor seating areas and retaining walls were done this month on the west side to complete the circumnavigation of the cabin.

Since Richard and I began working together on his place we’ve become good friends and gotten to know each other’s friends and families. As the projects progressed, our understanding of and respect for each other’s talents grew. In the past, each piece of work has stood alone as an event in time, but now, with everything complete, I can appreciate them even more as parts of a greater whole that exists in the present.  

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