“It is important and gratifying to discover how your peers feel about your work and to compare your efforts to other projects around the country,” says Mike Hoffman, president of Hoffman Landscapes. This makes the ninth PLANET award for the 25-year old landscape company, including Grand Awards in 2008, 2006 and 2002 as well as a Merit Award in 2001.
PLANET’s awards program is considered the “Oscars” of the landscape industry. Every year they receive thousands of entries from 4,500 members nationwide, demonstrating the association’
Creative solutions reap fantastic results
Hoffman Landscapes first nominated project was a challenging pool renovation and new construction of a “car barn” to house an antique car collection in Wilton, CT. Because the property was maxed out on building space, the designer was charged with the task of finding ways to eliminate and re-design areas around the property that counted as coverage under the town’s building regulations.
“Basically we had to examine the property’s entire outdoor setting first, including the pool, to find a creative and successful solution to accommodate the new car barn," says Brian Cossari, lead Landscape Architect on the project.
Using landscape techniques and natural materials, like native stone and timber (as opposed to man-made synthetics), enabled the overall design plan to avoid being counted under the town’s building code. Additional challenges included keeping the connection between the car barn and existing driveway to retain the “old carriage road feel,” as well as working around the owner’s prized heirloom rose collection.
Hoffman’s solutions included removing the home’s existing timber deck to reduce building coverage, and replacing its’ functionality with a new stone patio. Hand crafted bluestone coping, shaped to match the unorthodox angles of the existing swimming pool, replaced concrete coping and gives the entire area a cohesive look for the first time. A variety of native plantings, including viburnum, inkberry, American boxwood and other landscape elements add the finishing touch.
Helping a 50-year legacy endure
“The guiding garden design principle was to have four season interest in a natural setting,” says David Schrang, Director of Property Maintenance on the firm’s award-winning Westport project. Their work on the property encapsulates a half-century love story and is a “living” example of the rewards the homeowner reaped from skill and ingenuity.
Over 50 years ago the owners purchased the 1-acre property, with its unfinished prefab home. Elevation changes and bountiful plantings throughout the years turned the family’s 1950s pre-fab into a timeless, modern home. Sheri Forster of The Scottish Gardener was credited with her landscape design on this property. Today the property boasts majestic sugar maple and sweet gum trees, towering hemlocks, white pines, red-twig dogwoods and many varieties of shrubs. From May to October there is always something blooming.
Hoffman’s maintenance on this project began in 2007. As per the homeowners’ wishes, the company found a number of ways to enable the homeowner to continue enjoying her property on a daily basis despite her advancing age.
“This was a case where teamwork between the homeowner, the garden designer and the Hoffman maintenance crew really paid off,” says Schrang. “Installing new hand rails and stone seating areas in strategic places, allows the homeowner to easily walk her property at any time. In addition, these new rustic elements were all designed to fit seamlessly into the property’s “natural look” so you don’t even notice them yet they are functional and aesthetic.”
Hoffman Landscapes’ award-winning team has been recognized many times for outstanding landscape design and maintenance during its 25 years in business. The company also specializes in complete property management for lawns, planting beds, gardens, trees and shrubs. Hoffman Landscapes has three Connecticut locations: Wilton, Greenwich, and Washington, serving Fairfield, Westchester and Litchfield counties. To find out more, call 203.834.9656 or visit www.HoffmanLandscapes.com
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