Monday, November 30, 2015
By John Torsiello
When Ruth Adams set about designing her garden at the home in Sharon, her overall intent was to create a place of serenity. Well, mission accomplished.
The gardens that grace the grounds of the almost 6-acre property off bucolic East Street, in a quiet section of a quiet town, ramble about, enfolding a visitor in various subtle colors on an autumn afternoon. At the center of the gardens is a small pond, somewhat hidden from view at certain areas of the garden, but which transpires to enhance the atmosphere of peace and tranquility that Adams was after.
Adams found her inspiration (she says in the book “Great Gardens of the Berkshires”) for her sanctuary from Asian gardens, with their “calculated formality.” She said she attempted to use the Zen principals for creating visual dynamics, “identifying the pervading spirit of a site,” using its strength, and being sensitive to balancing the scale of various elements contained therein.
She was also influenced by Dutch gardener Piet Oudolf, whose designs “embrace the genius of a site” to create gardens that evoke emotion and mood. Oudolf chooses plants for their structure, movement and range of seasonal effects. Indeed, Adams says a border next to a fenced-in pool is an “homage” to Oudolf, with several plant types forming ribbons of varying heights and shapes. Grasses combine to soften the lines of the fence picket posts and create a link with other grasses planted within the pool area.
A stone walkway leads from the driveway of the home through an entry garden. Included in the garden are masses of ground covers, including junipers, cotoneasters, and creeping sedum, Japanese garden juniper and “weeping” varieties of trees, such as Norway spruce and eastern hemlock.
The water feature has fish swimming about, and iris and water lilies bloom during their season in and along the pond’s edges. Another highlight of this most special garden is a bower within a weeping katsura tree, formed by careful pruning over a period of several years. Another notable feature is a long, deep mixed border along one edge of the property that includes shrubs, ornamental grasses, herbaceous perennials and annuals.
Realtor Juliet Moore takes a visitor on a tour, not only of the gardens but also the unique home, which is an antique barn and silo that underwent complete renovation. The four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home (there are 13 rooms in all in the 5,057-square-foot home) with three floors of living space is listed with Elyse Harney Real Estate for $1.625 million. The property also features a separate 24-by-24-foot studio that serves as secluded sanctuary; the aforementioned heated pool, which is lined, with a bluestone surround, and a slide; a pool house (a bar and three, 12-by-12-foot rooms open to the pool); a potting shed (with terra cotta tiles, a propane heater, sink and wood deck) near an fenced area ideal for a vegetable/herb garden; and a two-bay attached garage.
The barn and silo, which date back to the late 1700s, says Moore, were first renovated in the 1970s and finished in the 1990s. The silo, with its perfectly rounded shape, was incorporated flawlessly into the home and features a kitchen on the first level, a bedroom on the second and a sitting area that affords sweet views of the hills to the east on the third level.
The beams of the original barn can be seen throughout the house, as well as some of the wood that faced the silo’s exterior. A nice nod to the home’s former use is an old metal pulley once used to haul up hay and other bundles to the second floor of the barn, which is now located in a living area.
“The home features a very open floor plan, which creates a nice flow through the interior and presents wonderful views of the outside,” says Moore.
The first floor features a great room with a cathedral ceiling, stone fireplace, a wall of windows with sliders to a stone terrace, doors to the back lawn and a view to the east that is magical any time of year. There’s a dining room with a stone fireplace, windows and a door that leads to the driveway. The kitchen in the silo measures 15-feet round and has modern appliances.
The 19-by-17-foot family room has exposed beams, leaded glass windows and offers a view to a stone terrace. There’s a half-bath with a pedestal wash basin, a laundry room includes built-in cabinetry, a wine “cellar” and a walk-in closet.
The second level has a large, 29-by-29-foot library loft that overlooks the first floor great room and has views outside to the east. A master bedroom, measuring 24-by-17 feet, has two double closets, and the master bath has a soaking tub, a shower and a built-in vanity dresser. The silo bedroom (15 feet round) has a half closet, and there are two other bedrooms, one with two oversized skylights.
A 29-by-22-foot family room has a cathedral ceiling, ceiling fans and exposed beams and can be accessed from the outside, a nice touch for added privacy.
The third floor has a 27-by-20-foot bedroom with a tray ceiling, built-in shelving and cabinets and that original hay pulley discussed earlier. The 15-foot round silo office/playroom may have the best views from the house, again overlooking the countryside facing east.
By the way, 5.26 additional acres located across a meadow to the east are for sale adjacent to the main property.
For a tour, contact Moore at 860-435-2200 (ext. 112), 860-480-0546 (cell), or at email@example.com.