The homeowner, a former florist and self-taught gardener, has been romancing her family’s 150-acre property in New York State for many years. At Uplands Farm, the main block of the house is a Victorian manse: robust, with severe lines and a tall mansard roof. Rooms inside were dark, so she added wings at either side with plenty of windows, and an expansive porch. She designed a jewel box-shaped conservatory to add more light and to serve as a bright spot for hosting dinner parties.
To soften the house, the owner went against the prevailing trend of the 1980s, which touted shrubbery and foundation plantings. “I didn’t want the house to lose identity with its history,” she says. That meant flowers in a garden sprinkled with raised beds and borders. She added “destinations,” including a pool pavilion and many benches, both on porches and in the garden: wicker, scallop-back wood, and iron. Still, she was careful to retain the agricultural flavor of the place, keeping things casual rather than grandiose. — Tovah Martin
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