Meandering pebble drives. Jaw-dropping views. Mossy, stepping-stone paths. Granite hardscapes that take on the tones of the lake. Landscape design/build firm Pellettieri Associates, Inc. brings nature’s splendor to higher ground. President George Pellettieri, who has been in the business for 35 years, offers advice for homeowners in search of the terrain of their dreams.
George’s foremost tip? “Call us first,” he says. If his team can see the setting (whether an uncultivated site or one that has already been developed), they can assess its features, views and special characteristics, and help residents create an optimal natural canvas.
Outdoor living at its finest. This striking pool terrace was positioned to maximize enviable views.
Often, his firm will work with realtors to ensure that a lot has the desired capabilities. Could it house a swimming pool, tennis court or soccer field or would dramatic clearing of existing vegetation or construction be needed? Are there environmental, local or state restrictions that would limit grading or clearing?
The stone, used more generously by the house, gently steps down to the lawns in a gradual progression that ultimately spills into naturalistic beds by the water.
It is also fruitful to work with the architect from the start, to ensure, on a broader level, a physical connection from the home to the landscape or, more granularly, how to position a private terrace so the homeowners are granted eastern exposure with their morning coffee. “We feel we can be the most beneficial if we are the first ones on the site and the last ones to leave,” says George.
Stunning stonescapes reflect more than 35 years of experience in the landscape field. Image by Jeff Sinon.
Pellettieri Associates, Inc. also encourages homeowners to think hard about how they intend to use their property. “Lifestyle is so important,” contends Technology Director Graham Pellettieri. Residents should consider if they’d like to showcase a particular tree on the property and which views they’d most like to frame. They should think about the time of year they will occupy the home so that Pellettieri can answer with a layout that maximizes the beauty and bloom of a particular season or seasons.
The tranquil gardens of this southern exposure oasis are comprised of New Hampshire bluestone, fieldstone and native plants, creating a naturally sustainable and serene setting.
Pellettieri Associates, Inc. will also want to know if the residents entertain regularly and, if so, how many guests? They can then hatch a plan that satisfies the usual scenario yet still accounts for the aberration. Take a driveway, for example, shares George. For clients who welcome extended family a few times a year, we might prepare, secure and firm a larger-than-typical driveway base and then have the edges brought in with natural mulch or small plantings. Now the homeowner has a drive that can support extra vehicles four or five times a year, without having a parking area.
This meandering cobble drive says welcome to all who enter.
Now, more than ever, homeowners are asking more of their landscapes, and carving out vistas with multiple uses. Pellettieri Associates helps them understand—and then realize—the choices. “It’s all about the people,” says Pellettieri, which, while it may seem counterintuitive, makes perfect sense. “Yes, we’re building a landscape, but if the landscape is not enjoyed by people then we have not accomplished our goal.”
Beautiful grounds incorporate beds with native plantings, rolling lawns and rustic boulders and stone.
Pellettieri Associates’ design/build model means they are in it for the long haul. They are integral in the site analysis and design as well as in the field and upkeep. The landscape has to work in the here and now, as well as years from now. They offer a deep knowledge of design, materials and fine gardening, and a start-to-finish approach that will endure—and change, as needed—for generations.
This lakehouse landscape comes off as natural and untouched, when in fact, it has been carefully cultivated.
Today, many are interested in sustainable landscapes and Pellettieri’s relationship with Swenson Granite of Concord is key. As [Swenson Granite] has access to different quarries throughout New England, Pellettieri is able to source many different stones from the area and New Hampshire, the "Granite State.” This cuts down on the environmental impact and supports suppliers in their own backyard. It also facilitates seamless landscape designs that are one with the land. Because, even with all of the company’s thoughtful planning and meticulous care, the company is happiest when asked, “Were you really here?” offers George. “That’s a sign that we’ve done our job well.”
No detail is too small for consideration. Pellettieri Associates, Inc. carved this drainage system into the rock pathway.
Main image by Jeff Sinon