being — 2007 — Walland, TN

blackberry farm

The rural, Appalachian/
Smoky Mountain landscape character provides the first impression that says this is a special place.

The location of Blackberry Farm in rural, east Tennessee is an important part of its acclaimed charm. The existing landscape
at Blackberry Farm is a backdrop for the guest experience. The designed landscape can perform these roles at the maximum level if it is both authentic and legible.

Moody Graham worked with the team at Blackberry Farm to analyze the existing conditions and provide a landscape framework and horticultural recommendations to improve the experience of the site. 

seasonal interest.

Photos by Allen Russ

Blackberry Sketch Jan 23 2006

Blackberry Farm Site Plan Sketch

Blackberry Final-FEBRUARY 2007

Blackberry Farm Welcome Map

Project Goal

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Goal: To bring the natural, mountain landscape, onto the property               

Benefits of this Project Goal:

  • To bring the landscape at Blackberry Farm into aesthetic alignment with the focus on regional cuisine and decorative arts
  • To offer an aesthetic experience that does not mimic the urban or suburban landscape guests left behind when they arrived at Blackberry Farm for a getaway
  • This philosophy of embracing Blackberry Farm’s rural environs is the main filter for looking at landscape problems so that the devised solutions are more likely to be both sustainable and require nominal maintenance

Design Vocabulary

1. Context

images of sam and cam beall cooking for thanksgiving
images of sam and cam beall cooking for thanksgiving

The context for the landscape design begins with the mountains and valleys of the Appalachians. Within this natural backdrop, a regional vernacular architecture is added. This layer of architecture within the natural setting provides numerous landscape design opportunities to pick up regional themes.

The landscape of the Blackberry Farm property includes both forest and pasture. The edge between forest and pasture is where most of the buildings exist. This open woodland, on an edge between two easily recognizable landscape types, means the landscape design can borrow from either forest or pasture, depending on the intended emphasis.

Image of Existing Landscape: Forest

Image of Existing Landscape: Pasture

2. Catalog of Zones

Zone Map

The property has grown organically over several years. Whether looking at function or landscape character, the whole property can be divided into different areas or zones. When the backdrop of nature and the addition of architecture are examined throughout the property, there are areas where the influence of setting and architecture changes emphasis.

What makes each zone distinctive is the combination of architectural character, function, and inherent landscape character. For instance, the original Manor House is at the core of the property. The original house and the nearby outbuildings, along with the adjacent, domestic landscape, convey the character of a rural estate. Other zones work outward to a farm or woodland character. A catalogue of zones, based on existing building inventory reads as follows:

Zone Map Key
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Image of Existing Domestic Zone

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Image of Existing Rural Zone

diagram of rural and domestic

The zones range from more domestic to more rural. By acknowledging this range, the landscape can convey the intended authentic character of the different buildings, both by use and architectural style.                                                                                                             
The detail design of the landscape seeks to reinforce these cultural and natural patterns that are present in the different zones.

3. Legibility

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In addition, the landscape design seeks to be legible. This is achieved when the plantings are composed so that they express plant relationships that naturally appear, such as:

  • Structural Layer: The ‘bones’ of the landscape provided by large trees and shrubs that shape space, including
    providing a canopy.
  • Seasonal layer: Supporting the Structural Layer and adding four-season interest using flowering trees, shrubs,
    perennials & annuals.
  • Functional Layer: This layer is low growing perennials (natives preferred) in order to control weeds, and have a
    lush appearance on the ground-plane. There is an opportunity in this layer to include native perennials that are
    short lived, but self-sowing.

 

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Type

Being

Project Architect

Spitzmiller Norris Architects

General Contractors

Hickory Construction

Primary Material Palette

stone, wood

Time Span

2005 - 2007

Location

Walland, TN