Custom Grape Vine

We often talk about a feeling of age that creates a truly timeless building. We also often talk about the importance of integrating landscaping elements into living spaces. In one of our latest projects, we have taken a very unusual approach to address both of these objectives in one gesture.

Typically in a new house, the landscaping is also new and takes more than a couple of years to establish. It is not unusual for us to replant existing site trees or to search long and hard for larger plants to help mitigate the bare gardens in new builds.

On a recent period restoration, we were faced with this same issue which required an even more considered response. Although the residence was mostly new, a great deal of the design was developed to feel as though it had been there for many years, so that it would sit comfortably in the significant heritage context. As usual, the large terrace needed to be softened with plantings, but new seedlings would reveal the project’s youth.

Fortuitously, B.E Architecture’s design Director Broderick Ely noticed a mature ornamental grape vine in a suburban back yard while driving through Vermont. After navigating a series of clothing lines, he negotiated with the property owners to have the 38-year-old vine transplanted into our project.

Standing taller than Brod, the vine was craned into the central courtyard of the inner city property. A custom stone planter was designed by B.E Architecture and crafted from a steel frame and shards of stone and covered in moss. The branches run the entire length of the terrace along the fence and are supported by custom hand-forged wrought iron brackets.

The vine is now budding in its first Spring, as if it has always been there.