Cider Ridge Farm is located on the outskirts of the colonial town of Wilton, Connecticut. The farm encompasses sixteen acres of preserved meadows and a historic working orchard. An eighteenth-century agricultural lane with fieldstone walls runs along the ridgeline of the property, creating a purposeful divide between the site for a new homestead and the existing agrarian landscape. Two phases of work defined this project. The first, a new home for a young and growing family on the south side of the property; the second, the comprehensive restoration of the original nineteenth-century homestead on the northeast corner of the site.STIMSON worked closely with the owners to create a multi-generational homestead that expresses the contemporary needs of the modern family while preserving the integrity of the historic farm. The juxtaposition of old and new, rustic and modern, became a guiding language for the materials, planting palette, and overall landscape expression of the project.
The historic farmhouse dates back to the mid 1700s, with connections to the Revolutionary War and stories of British troops staying overnight. Over the last century, the farm raised horses, including, in the past, race horses. The careful siting of the birthing stalls on the New York side of the property meant the horses could be part of the New York racing circuit. The historic farm lane remains the landmark that organizes the site, dividing the farm between Connecticut and New York. The stone walls that define the lane were carefully restored, and new openings were created at key moments to provide views and connections between the two homes. A new court, a reclaimed bluestone terrace, and a working garden of raised beds were integrated into the historic home. A series of walls around the old farmhouse were rebuilt using site fieldstone, and define the original formal tea lawn.
The new farm landscape was conceived as a series of outdoor rooms adjacent to the house, with a working kitchen garden and perennial garden stepping up to the historic lane. The garden is a collection that reinterprets the site’s meadows, selected for seasonal display of color and texture. Above the gardens, a new pool, pavilion, and play garden converge at the historic lane, carefully inserted between fragments of the historic farm walls. The use of rusted steel, granite, and reclaimed stone respond to the site’s heritage, yet also expresses the owners’ affinity for modern art and architecture. These materials also carry forward the property’s legacy; in the hands of the farmer they shaped this landscape for well over a century.
The Master Plan included curation and long-term strategies for landscape management at Cider Ridge Farm.
Boston Society of Landscape Architects | Merit Award in Design 2019