living — 2010 — Bluemont, Virginia

Piedmont Retreat

Asolare, a Greek word for the leisurely passage of time without purpose, is an apt name for a country retreat.

Nestled at the base of the Shenandoah foothills in Virginia, the 178-acre site was used for agriculture until the current owners purchased it for the creation of a country retreat. The irregularly shaped property included wooded tracts entangled with invasive species and agricultural fields delineated with dry-stacked stone walls in various states of disrepair. 

The landscape architect used stewardship principles and sustainable design techniques to enhance the land and to anchor a new, contemporary home in the Virginia Piedmont landscape. The result is a place of restoration that offers connection with elements of nature: fields, forest, water, and views of the endless sky.



Photos by Allen Russ

Rosenfeld Rendered Site Plan_property_175
Rosenfeld Meadow Edge Planting 4-26-2010

Landscape Master Plan

Residential Site Plan

design sketches

Design Sketches  - Stone Wall, Gate, Firepit

A carefully considered palette of materials and color create a symbiosis with the natural surrounding.

Landscape Photograph Washington DC

Constructed from stone boulders found on-site, the entry gate establishes the aesthetic of the property and reveals the essence of the site.

06 Retouched

Lined with mesic plants, the rill is constructed from site-collected fieldstone and discharges into a bioswale.

Ecological Information


Protection of all existing trees along ½ mile of driveway through forested area


85 trees planted at the home site, 42 canopy trees and 43 understory (About ½ acre new canopy coverage at the home site). 


400 new trees planted on site, mostly enhancing forest edge ecotone (190 @ 2” cal or greater and 210 whips).


5000 sf new ornamental/residential garden beds, primarily (almost exclusively) native species


3 acres new native species meadows & 1 new pond utilizing natural groundwater flow

05 Retouched b

Stormwater runoff from house managed through designed landscape features/embraced as part of garden design and discharged into meadow swale

Plant Palette

Quercus phellos
Willow Oak

Piedmont Retreat Plant_02
Piedmont Retreat Plant_03

Amelanchie x grandiflora

Agastache 'Blue Fortune'
Giant Hyssop

Piedmont Retreat Plant_04
Piedmont Retreat Plant_05

Panicum virgatum 'Haense Herms' 
Switch Grass

Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne'
Black-eyed Susan 

Piedmont Retreat Plant_01
Piedmont Retreat Plant_07

Sedum spp.


Living, Being


Architect: Cunningham Quill

Landscape contractors: Quarry Aquatics, Ruppert Nurseries


2011 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, Maryland Chapter

2011 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, Virginia Chapter                         


Time Span

2007 - 2010


Bluemont, Virginia

Have a project in mind?

609 H Street NE
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 543-1286

1318 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 543-1286

Moody Graham Landscape Architecture
Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.

Moody Graham Landscape Architecture
Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.