Garden Dialogues 2020: Middletown, RI

Registration Eligibility
Open to landscape architecture professionals, allied designers, and the general public.
Start Date
End Date
This historic farmhouse and studio began its complete restoration in 2016. The house was built in 1870, and the studio was used by John LaFarge, a famous nineteenth-century painter and stain-glass artist. Sited on just over three acres, the landscape is in the picturesque Paradise Valley and has been a subject for generations of artists, including LaFarge, William Trost Richards, and John Frederick Kensett.

Katherine Field and Associates’ project scope includes the entire three acres and was implemented over several years. The clients are passionate about plants and are avid gardeners. They worked closely with an arborist to preserve many of the existing trees, including the spruce grove. The intermittent stream manages invasive species, and rain gardens are opportunities for additional flowering borders to attract and sustain native species.

An existing pool was the only major element that was included in the new landscape. New wood decking created a soft surround, with several areas for pool-side relaxation. A new driveway replaced the former central entry and gave the property more parking as well as privacy for the front porch.

Transplanted material included a large European beech, Japanese maple, large arborvitae, and dozens of shrubs and perennials. A privet hedge along Paradise Avenue was replaced with a tapestry hedge composed of a mix of native and flowering shrubs. This project shows how to create a cohesive landscape with endless horticultural diversity and allows the microclimates to speak to the nature of the created space. The design engaged the heart of the client, looking for ways to highlights the landscape’s natural rhythms and activities.

This Garden Dialogue will be led by Kate Field, Principal Katherine Field and Associates; Julia Driscoll, Landscape Designer, Katherine Field and Associates; Ray Maiello, RLA, Project Manager, Katherine Field and Associates; Greg Yalanis, Architect, Spring Street Studio; Clem Desjardins, Arborist, Stanley Tree; Laurie Sullivan, Landscape Maintenance, Schumacher; and Joe McCue, Senior Biologist, Mason & Associates.
Middletown, RI
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Horticulture / Plants
Project Management
Residential Design
Site Planning
Water / Stormwater Management
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
1. Learn how successful landscape architects collaborate with their residential clients to identify and meet their needs.
2. Learn about the design process for developing the landscape and the planting plan.
3. Learn about appropriate plant selection for residential landscapes in this region and zone.
Kate Field, Julia Driscoll
Website Registration
Course Codes
The Cultural Landscape Foundation

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