Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cultivated over Many Years

Where to begin? This is the story of JB and M’s love affair with their home, gardens, collections and each other. Married over 50 years, my friends JB and M live in a contemporary home they built in the 1970s. (BTW, Ali MacGraw is M’s childhood friend and a bridesmaid at the wedding. Yes, I have permission to write that :-) Back to the house: basically it is a series of “severe boxes” with pitched standing seam metal roofs, picture windows, French doors and 10 skylights. To me, the architecture is a bit Shaker, a bit Hugh Jacobsen, a little Belgian and a whole lotta cool!
I will share the interiors in a future post. And maybe more gossip :)  For now, let's tour the gardens on this 5+ acre property. A BIG thank you to JB and M!
 A formal boxwood knot garden adjacent to the house.
 A long vista to the woodlands.
 Specimen trees, roses and mature boxwoods.
 The house, built in the 1970s, was recently re-stuccoed.
 The upper parterre garden is divided into 4 beds: herbs, potager, roses and perennials.
 Do you like the pair of antique garden pots from my shop? :-)
 M and JB are passionate gardeners and designers. JB built all the stonewalls. M takes care of perennials and plants.
 Pair of 18th century statues.
 Sage, tomato and cucumber plants in the potager.
 M showing me the lemon-yellow flowers of the okra plant.
 A cloche tucked among lavender plants.
 The property is dotted with follies and outbuildings. Top is the garden shed, and bottom photo shows the summerhouse.
 The shade garden with English staddle stones and Japanese painted ferns.
 Looking back at the house.
 These last three photos, taken by M, show the gardens in spring.
 Tiggy contemplating a climb over the wall.


  1. That is so beautiful.It has always been a fantasy for me to have a garden like that. I just have to find someone to do it for me ;)

  2. Hi Loi,

    It is a beautiful and clearly well-loved garden. All that boxwood is a dream and I love the pots and statuary. I am looking forward to seeing the interiors - I agree with your description of the house. Very cool.


  3. What a sensational house and property. I admire all the love that goes into that yard! Some 'folly' around every corner! Hope you have a great weekend, Loi.
    xo Nancy

  4. Hi Loi - What an amazing garden and the house is so intriguing with its stucco exterior and metal roof. Thanks for the tour. Please do not wait too long to post photos of the interiors :) !

    Have a great weekend,

  5. Hi Loi,
    What I really like is that they haven't been over ambitious. It's stylish and seems nicely uncomplicated and manageable, but still adds the touches of elegance and layout you see in the finest English gardens. The use of boxwood is superb for adding zones. I really like it. The house looks wonderful too and I see your point about the boxes in your description. Can't wait to see more!
    Happy weekend.

  6. ...just gorgeous and love the Corgi, Tiggy!


  7. Loi,
    This is lovely. Please post the pictures of the interiors soon. You have the coolest friends!!
    xo Lori

  8. Oh Loi,
    What a pretty garden, and such an extensive one. I garden on ten acres, but honesty only about two acres are cultivated and the other eight are woods or farmer's field. So, I applaud their efforts and love the two pots from your shop. (I must get there soon.)
    "Shaker, Jacobsen, Belgian, cool" seems a really apt description of the home itself. You leave us eager to see the inside.
    And how cute it that Corgi.

  9. Loi-
    I can't think of a better or moet inspiring way to start my weekend. The property is amazing. Your friends have created a masterpiece.
    I love the corgi too. I once had a corgi named after Mary Cassatt (Cassie) and this reminds me of her.
    Happy Saturday.

  10. As usual Loi, beautiful. I will keep this post up for a few days, as I feel like you see more each time you look. Love the antique urns especially;)!!! Inspirational for sure. Enjoy your weekendxob

  11. What a stunning and relaxing home with incredible grounds! I don't think I would ever want to leave it! I wish my yard could be turned into this! It takes lots of love and lots of time to get it to this point and it is evident that they have done both! Loved seeing the yellow flowers from the okra! That is what has grown the best for me this year besides the green beans! My favorite parts are the beautiful stone walls, antique statuary and the pots from your shop! Gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing another breathtaking article! Have a great weekend!

  12. Hi Loi,
    The one thing that POPS out ...the LOVE between JB and M! Thank you so much for sharing their special, beautiful gardens. I am looking forward to getting a peek into the interior!

  13. Gorgeous! I love the laid back elegance of their property! The developed over time feeling that you get from your photos! I am a huge fan of boxwood and they really have done it right! It's a well loved well tended paradise!
    Thank you Loi for my weekend inspiration! You are the best!

  14. Beautiful post Loi. The gardens are sensational! We are planning a small summerhouse in our back garden for outside entertaining. May not get to that till next year, but boy would I love a garden like that!
    Would love to see the inside in a future post :)

  15. Loi!

    Where to begin?! Stunning garden and I can't wait to see the interior of this home. I was a teen in the mid seventies (geezz.. that makes me an antique right?) and this home reminds me of the home I grew up in (minus the landscaping of course). I like the cloche tucked among lavender plants, the extensive boxwood, and your your antique urns. We are fortunate to get at this beautiful property!

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  16. What a beautiful couple and a beautiful life they have created. The property has the most serene feel and it is stunning. What capable builders and gardeners are these two - those walls, those gardens! Thanks for sharing!! They must be so interesting to talk to...

    xo Terri

  17. Wow! Such a beautiful place! I love these two! What a tribute to marriage! They look so happy! Their love shows. Thank You Loi for sharing another beautiful client and place with us! You are so talented my friend!

  18. Hi Loi, The house may be new, but it has the massing of some early 19th-century structures, which also helps it blend into the landscaping. I love everything about the gardens, especially the stone work, and the fact that there are many shades of green, but not too many flowers.
    --Road to Parnassus

  19. Stunning garden. What a labor of love for two people to maintain so beautifully. The predominately green landscape is perhaps my favorite kind. I so adore a garden with boxwood anchoring the abstract organization.
    Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  20. "To be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden." What a garden!

  21. Hi Loi!

    Wow, such understated elegance in the house, the couple, and their gardens-love it.

    Tiggy is nothing short of adorable :)

    The pic with the simple row of pale blue flowers in that sea of green-so calm and so pretty.

    Now that I've now learned what staddle stones are, I really must hunt for one (after we move)

    Oh and those pots from your shop are just stunning!

    Nice way to start the weekend, seeing these pretty to finish our garden projects now-enjoy your weekend, too !

  22. Loi, the vistas, gardens, potager and oh my those stone walls. What breathtaking and serene imagery!

    Thank you for sharing. I am very excited to see the home interior.

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series

  23. Loi, you set the stage well for this real life "Love Story" :) Can't wait to hear and see more. How smart they were to get that land back in the 70's. Can't help but wonder if it's Bethesda, Potomac, Middleburg? In any case, they've done a fabulous job! Thanks for sharing.

  24. The simplicity of the house is very appealing, the soft grey leaded roof complimenting the white of the walls. The garden is a treat, in my book nothing is better for structure in a garden than box and walling, and I often wonder why more people do not use it. An enjoyable post to see Loi.

  25. Hi Loi! What a wonderful garden to escape to, thank you so much for sharing it with us. Thank your clients for me also. They have the perfect retreat, and I envy the length they have had to cultivate and care for such a treasure.

    I am looking forward to seeing the interiors of this distinctive and calm oasis they call home.


  26. This is a peak of heaven. The love and the beauty and the peace and most of all the joy. Thank you immensely for sharing this inspiration. Mary

  27. Loi,
    This is a gorgeous garden! Oh dear love everything of it!! And loved the house with the re-stuckoed walls! These people have a fabulous taste!
    We are also thinking about placing saddle stones in our garden! So beautiful!
    Gongratulations to your friends!

  28. What a beautiful property your lovely friends have created! Their environment is brimming with life and beauty!

    l love to learn of other couples that share their love of plants and gardening with each other. We spent the morning in our gardens and had lunch on the patio with just each other(and Andy!). A perfect day in my book! It is quite obvious that your friends have had many perfect days doing the same, the beauty of the property reflects it. So many ideas and inspirations!

    Great post as usual!

  29. What amazing gardens - I am the biggest fan of boxwoods and these are fabulous - what a labor of love this has been - dying to see inside!! Happy weekend, Loi ~

  30. Gorgeous post and a gorgeous garden Loi. Right on cue for foliage anonymous week!
    The pots and stoneware in the garden are very easy on the eye, including those lovely pots from your shop.

  31. Many thanks to your friends for sharing their beautiful slice of the earth. I could gush on and on about all the little details I love. It's just perfect.

    I'm sure it's a huge amount of work, but to have such a beautifully landscaped property is a dream.

  32. Loi, this is my 2nd look and would be my 2nd comment if my Ipad worked in that part of it...sometimes it does sometimes it doesn't.

    Your posts and photos are always the most amazing and I usually save every photo because they are such an inspiration and something I am going for!

    I keep reminding myself when I feel so old at 54 that I could have 40 years left to trim my boxwoods and swim nude in my pool in the moonlight.

    This can just tell they have it..mainly because they made a purchase from you! But they made my day today and so did you!

  33. Beautiful post Loi! Love that...way cool...home! The gardens are clearly a labor of lovely with a sense of sophisticated maturity...beautiful green landscape with wonderful focal points and a surprise or two. Thanks for sharing...hope to see more and hear a little more gossip too! :)

  34. Such a lovely garden. It has given me some ideas for mine. Looking forward to seeing the inside of the house. Thanks for sharing

  35. Hi, Loi - The garden(s) is beautiful and obviously a labor of much love. I imagine it would be a very serene experience to see it in person.

  36. Do you think JB and M would notice if I moved into the Summerhouse?
    What a magnificent labor of love.
    Clearly you all are kindred spirits.

    Thank you for a lovely day in the garden.


  37. Hi Loi,
    A brilliant post, and a truly wonderful garden.
    It's been said before, but this is obviously a garden filled with love and hard work.
    Have a lovely weekend,

  38. Wow! what an amazing garden! The plants are so well tended and healthy. They seem like lovely people too! The statuary and the pots from your shop add so much interest to the garden - I'm gonna have to get me some! I also love the house and other buildings - very cool, I can't wait to see the interior!


  39. This is my idea of the perfect garden - a formal knot garden, a potager, herbs, stone walls, boxwood, lavender AND a woodland walk? Why - that's my idea of garden heaven - and all wrapped up in a five acre plot - total perfection! Are M and JB available for adoption? I'd be delighted to have them come and sort my garden out in exchange for food and lodgings - and while we're at it, perhaps if I apply for triplets, you can come and fix the house!!!
    Paula xxx

  40. What a beautiful garden. Thanks for sharing the great photos. And ..oh yes...I love those pots from your shop. They look perfect!

  41. What a dream garden!!So inspirational, beautiful and filled with love!! Looking forward to seeing the interiors!!

  42. What a lovely garden. Very nice structure. Thanks for showing it. I agree the house is very cool.

  43. All I can say is Oh my!!!! I would think I had died and gone to heaven just to visit much less live there. These grounds are perfection...I wouldn't change one little thing...I can't wait to see the inside. Mona

  44. Absolutely gorgeous....I could spend hours in this garden.

  45. Such a beautiful setting and a gorgeous garden!! The stone walls, your antique pots and all of the hedges...can only imagine how wonderful it would be to roam the grounds in the early morning, a cup of coffee in hand....can't wait to tour their home!! Thank you for taking us along! xxo Monica

  46. What an amazing place and those gardens are fabulous! I can't beign to imagine how many hours this lovely couple has put into their property but every bit of it shows how much they love it. I'm looking forward to seeing the interiors as well if they're anything like the outside I know it will be something! Thank you to your friends for letting you share with us.

    Enjoy your day!

  47. Fabulous garden Loi, enhanced beautifully by your antique urns (which I love by the way) I wonder if Tiggy would like an impromptu holiday in England, she looks so cuddly. Oh to wake up to a garden like that it would be divine. I can't wait to take a peek at the house too,but then as you know I am a very nosy person.

  48. Solo con tanto amore si può costruire dei giardini così fantastici!! complimenti ai tuoi amici!! buona domenica...ciao

  49. What a lovely garden tour for a Sunday afternoon. And what a lovely couple. How nice of them to share their beautiful surroundings with us. That's quite a space to take care of. But what a treat to see. Yes, I do like those antique garden urns ( from your shop.)They are JUST right. I love garden tours, where I can enjoy every elses LABOR. ha ha

  50. They look like sweet folks and thank you and them for sharing their gardens! Just lovely!!! Can't wait to see the house. Wonder what growing zone they are in? Love their statuary.

  51. Loi,

    Hello! I hope you had a chance to relax a bit this weekend. Don;t work too hard on your new container...although I am sure it must be like a treasure chest. I would love to hear how often you go on buying trips, what you look for, where you go, do you meet with dealers. I am just curious to hear how you do it all.

    I LOVE your dear friends, and their spectacular garden! What a wonderful labor of love.

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful space. And for so many of your beautiful Pins on Pinterest, I am following along behind you repinning some of your wonderful images.

    Have a beautiful and relaxing week. I hope it cools down by you.


    1. Many thanks, Elizabeth. I'll do a future post on buying abroad. Cheers, Loi

  52. Loi!
    This home with its breathtaking garden is absolutely dreamy!! I love the cloche tucked among the lavender plants... stunning!
    Thanks for the inspiration, I can always depend on you to enlighten and uplift!

    Have a wonderful week Loi!

  53. Oh my Loi - this has to be one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. It has everything I love in a garden. I will revisit this post over and over. Have a great week, Sharon

  54. Awe....Tiggy made me smile! I can't imagine having gorgeous gardens like that. I would go out there every morning and stroll around with my coffee...So peaceful! This is the girl who can't even keep cactus alive! xo

  55. What a beautiful garden. M and JB are such passionate and gifted gardeners. Thank you to you and them for sharing this gorgeous space. I loved the sneak peak of the garden in Spring..and the pots from your shop are lovely. I hope to add ones like that to my garden one day. Jx

  56. What a lovely garden. There is nothing prettier than a mature garden that has been cultivated with love and style over the years. Your pots are to die for as well!

  57. Loi, I love it!!! Beautiful home & garden, & friends! Such love!! Thank you so much for sharing. take care, Robin

  58. absolutley positively Gorgeous!! Can not wait to see inside!

  59. Such beautiful photos! I can't wait to see the interiors!

  60. oh marvelous... with gardens like that I would be elated to living in the garden hut!!

  61. Tiggy at the wall!

    i'm your newest follower and am happily exploring this tone on tone wonderland.

    smiles to you.


    1. Welcome Michele!! So delighted to have you :-) Cheers, Loi

  62. Belo Jardim...Espectacular....

  63. What an amazing property. And your images are absolutely stunning. It's such a visual treat to come here, Loi.

  64. Loi,

    Now this is what passion looks and feels in the garden. How lovely and Tiggy too! It amazes me at the great lengths people will go through to keep their gardens so well maintained. Such inspiration and tranquality all in one place. It's true that as a garden matures it gets easlier to maintain. The biggest hurdle is usually the weather..too hot or too cold puts us in crisis mode but gardens teach us so much about survival and the power of patience. Love it!


  65. Thanks Loi!
    Your wonderful photographs depict a beautiful outcome of love and labour in sync with nature

  66. The property and gardens are so beautiful, Loi. Obviously JB and M are quite the team! Can't wait to see the interiors.

    (BTW, I'm not a huge fan of okra, but I may have to plant some now that I see what a beautiful flower it has)

    Thank you!

  67. Olá Loi!

    Estou retribuindo sua gentil visita, é um prazer te receber
    Seu blog é fantástico, seu País é lindo, ainda não tive
    a oportunidade de visitar mais aqui de longe fico
    encantado com tudo.
    Este poste é lindo! o Jardim parace um Paraíso mesmo!
    Suas fotos ficaram ótimas!
    Saúdações do Brasil! novo Amigo!!!

    Hello Loi! I'm returning your kind visit, is a pleasure to welcome you Your blog is fantastic, your country is beautiful, I have not had the opportunity to visit far more here I am delighted with everything. This post is beautiful! Seems the Garden a Paradise indeed! Your photos were great! Greetings from Brazil! .................... A new friend! Adriano.

  68. Hi Loi,

    This post is such a beautiful reminder of the joy that comes from tending and nurturing a property over many years.
    Thank you for sharing, it is truly inspirational!


  69. Oh my goodness, I am in love :) Such a lovely setting!

  70. Hi Loi I just found your blog and it is such a pleasure to look at this "paradise". Greetings rheingruen

  71. Un piccolo pezzo di paradiso!
    Bellissime foto,quella con il gattino un po'curioso è straordinaria.
    Ciao caro Loi e tanti auguri ai tuoi amici:)
    lieta sera!
    A presto

  72. Thank you for showing us this amazing garden. Absolutely beautiful!

  73. What an amazing place to live and play! Thank you, dear Loi, for sharing your friends' inspirational garden...(love anything that has "follies"!) :) So many enchantments the photo with Tiggy too..
    Have a beautiful weekend!
    - Irina

  74. Hi Loi
    your friends have a house and a beautiful garden!
    have a good we

  75. The garden looks as happy as the gardeners.

  76. I might have to show this to my neighbor so she will come down off her high horse thinking her backyard is all that.......this makes hers look like a ghetto.


Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi