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.
Photos by Allen Russ
Blackberry Farm Site Plan Sketch
Blackberry Farm Welcome Map
Goal: To bring the natural, mountain landscape, onto the property
Benefits of this Project Goal:
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
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:
Image of Existing Domestic Zone
Image of Existing Rural Zone
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.
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:
Spitzmiller Norris Architects
2005 - 2007