In Kennebunk, a home with a manicured lawn is ringed by an incredible depth of stonework andnative plants. The yard contains naturally occurring features, around which the landscape settles,making it nearly impossible to decipherwhat wasn’t originally there. The most notable naturalfeature is a show-stopping boulder and the bedrock ledge outcropping it is married to. Anexample of how nature inspires, Mike Corsie and his team at Terrapin made it the destination fora fire pit and seating area serving as an extension of the interior space and a three-season porch
The stonework done by Terrapin’s dry-stone masons anchors the softscape and adds structure tothe yard. Mike says, “The most significant detail about the stonework is that the retaining wallswere built entirely without mortar. Our stone masons, Jeff Fairfield and Ben Maxfield, havespent years honing this ancient craft by working under more experienced masons, attendingtraining workshops, and building drystone features.” The walls are at a steep grade above thedriveway with a cap that was designed with subtle irregularities to imitate the rocky ledge andallow for lighting to be installed under the overhang. The type of stone, locally sourced BlackMountain granite, also appears in the formal walkway to the front door and a slab staircase.
The plants surrounding the house are a mix of the homeowner’s personal taste and a carefullychosen selection to pair with the architecture. A calming palette of grays from the stonework andgreens from the softscape are prominent, while allowing for delightful pops of color. Not only isit pleasing to look at, the final design is easy for Terrapin to maintain as well as wildlife friendly.They used native sods, such as hay-scented fern and lowbush blueberry to help re-naturalize andcontrol erosion. Bees and other pollinators are happy with the echinacea and bee balm at thisbackyard trove.