Harbor Garden Escape

Landscape designer Bill Phinney charmed clients into converting five rugged acres into a stunning coastal garden in Rockport, Maine.

Bonded Together

Brian Vanden Brink

Bonded Together

While Bill spared as many trees as possible during construction (to preserve the property’s canopy), his extensive pruning opened up views. The garden’s woodland margins and rock-framed water features connect it to its setting. Bill says, “I call it marrying the landscape back to the land.” In this case, it’s a very happy marriage.

Splash of Color

Brian Vanden Brink

Splash of Color

Plantings of shallow-soil-loving blueberry, huckleberry, and sweet fern soften the transition from the rock terrace to the lawn. Yarrow, astilbe, and ligularia flare up near the house and blend with lilies, cosmos, bachelor’s buttons, irises, meadow rue, sedum, and impatiens in the borders.

Seasonal Accent

Brian Vanden Brink

Seasonal Accent

Tucked behind the terrace is the real surprise of the plan―an aquatic habitat thrives in the gradual descent of 18-foot falls. “When my clients decided against installing a swimming pool because the season is so short in Maine,” says Bill, “I suggested a water feature with falls, pool gardens, and a spa with resistant water jets to allow swimming.”

Rock & Roll

Brian Vanden Brink

Rock & Roll

Boulders establish the framework for a 60-foot-long water garden with accompanying pool. Connected visually but functioning independently via separate pumps, the pool and waterfall work on a recycling water system.

Artfully Arranged

Brian Vanden Brink

Artfully Arranged

Billy aimed to set off the harbor vista and provide enough blooms for bouquets from May to October. Bill’s plan features eight garden areas arrayed behind the house. These pretty places blend via grass paths and collectively function as the foreground for an extraordinary water view.

Focal Point

Brian Vanden Brink

Focal Point

An Arts and Crafts-style pergola heralds a beautiful garden on the lawn overlooking Rockport Harbor. “You get your first sight of the harbor and the ocean from its platform,” says Bill.

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