HGTV Dock House & Landscape

Siting and landscape design focused on water views and the natural environment.

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A broad staircase descends from the home's deck, and a winding gravel path leads to a long, narrow boardwalk just above the gold marsh grasses. At its end, a dock house with a screened-in room perches over Point Peter Creek. For boaters and fishermen, a power lift accommodates larger vessels while a hinged floating dock provides a spot for kayaks and canoes.

When landscape architect Peter Langham―vice president of DeVictor Langham in Roswell, Georgia―learned which lot at Cumberland Harbour was chosen for the HGTV Dream Home, he was ecstatic. "It is sitting on its own little peninsula and has 180 degrees of marsh," Peter says. His first task was to site the house and capitalize on the water views. After working it out on paper, then visiting the site and making adjustments, Peter chose the structure's position. "We captured this long view down Point Peter Creek and out to the marsh," he explains. "When you walk in the front door and look down the hall, that's what you see."

Peter created a dramatic introductory landscape to Barry's architectural design. "We tried to set up a series of visual experiences," Peter explains. From the street, three palms echo the silhouette of the tower. As the driveway bends, the marsh comes into view just beyond the edge of the structure. For the walkway from pavement to porch, Peter chose the same reclaimed brick as the fireplace. "We turned the bricks to create a diagonal herringbone so that when you're walking on it, the pattern carries your eye out to the marsh."

Peter tried to form a link in the backyard between the large back porch and the dock, without overshadowing the natural landscape. "We wanted a really casual feeling, a fun place for a party or for sitting in the grass and watching the sun rise." He added a St. Augustine lawn, as in the front, and protected the live oaks by wrapping them with plantings of native palmettos and autumn fern.

Peter also added four live oaks to the landscape after removing two on the homesite. "One of my goals for the project was to put in more trees than we took out," he says. The grounds give residents diverse spaces, with evergreens for relaxing in shade and open areas for playing touch football.

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