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

[tree]                                      Quercus phellos                 Willow Oak

Piedmont Retreat Plant_02
Piedmont Retreat Plant_03

[tree]                                         Amelanchie x grandiflora  Serviceberry

[Perennial]                Agastache 'Blue Fortune'    Giant Hyssop

Piedmont Retreat Plant_04
Piedmont Retreat Plant_05

[Perennial]                      Panicum virgatum              'Haense Herms' Switch Grass

[Perennial]                      Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne'   Black-eyed Susan 

Piedmont Retreat Plant_01
Piedmont Retreat Plant_07

[Perennial]                                Sedum spp.                            Sedum


Living, Being

Project 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