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         he Old Aldie Rectory is a historic property located in historic Aldie, Virginia. The project had some very unique design requirements that made the project especially challenging. Prior to the involvement of Metes & Bounds Landscape Design, responsibility for the gardens had changed hands through many different landscape contractors and gardeners without very much success, and the result was that the garden was a random collection of plantings that were mostly inappropriate for the size and scale of the spaces in which they were planted. Vehicular access was extremely limited and inadequate, and the only area for parking cars had a very negative visual impact upon the house and garden. To compound our challenges, the requirements for the project included using a hand-dug, stone-lined cistern as our only source for water.

Our first phase of work included addressing the vehicular requirements. Our design proposed creating an “Auto-Court” in the area where cars had to park, which we did by installing antique pavers and traditional-style picket fencing along with lush plantings around the perimeter. An arbor and moon-gate serves as an entrance to the garden, and helps to further separate and define the house and garden areas as distinct from the vehicular space.

Our next phase of work involved re-habilitating the planted areas. For this phase of the work our approach to planting design had to be very hands-on, meaning that much of the initial design work had to be done in the field while working alongside the installation crews to transplant and make use of the existing plant material. Over the course of almost two years we were able to transform the grounds from an incongruous collection of plants to a coherent series of outdoor rooms that is in keeping with the historic character of the home.

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