South Dartmouth, MA
Garden structure/sculpture, Meadow, Water feature, Organic/toxin-free
In 1987 a historic New Bedford house, once slated for demolition, was moved and reconstructed with great attention to historical detail in open meadows bordered by woods near Apponagansett Bay. Fast forward 25 years and the much-traveled owner, inspired by trips to the Orient, sought to infuse the adventurous spirit of the house’s early whaling inhabitants into the landscape. She invited Sinton & Michener Associates to propose new ideas to enliven the open spaces, integrating play, exploration and discovery, and enhancing a growing collection of contemporary sculpture. High on the priority list was the concept of “oasis,” a place to relax and separate from the everyday world.
Sinton & Michener devised a “ramble,” planting trees to blend the backdrop of the woods with and around the existing lawns so that the sculptures are rediscovered from new prospects. Hidden in plain sight, they designed a modern labyrinth of hornbeam that were installed as two-foot tall saplings (be certain to discover what’s in the middle!) An old tree house was re-imagined as a place for contemplation and moon viewing, complemented by the Asian-themed handrails designed by the owner. Another re-purposing is “the Holloway” on the very sandy site of the former drainage field. As the plants mature and create shade, garden visitors will traverse the way of giant stepping stones while strolling through a flowery dell that is its own space apart from all others. Recently the pastoral setting has seen the owner and her family welcome cows to graze in a newly fenced meadow as the experiments in separating from the world and discovering the realms of whimsy and art continues.
Open Days 2021: Saturday, July 24
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also happening on this day: DIGGING DEEPER program, July 24, 2021, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Shaping Space with Nan Sinton. Registration for this Digging Deeper program includes admission to Gulf Road Homestead.
- New garden or feature
- Partial wheelchair access