Branfield Historic Farm, Ruthsburg, Maryland
Branfield Farm is an essay in geometry and historic preservation. One of the largest 18th-century houses on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Branfield's owners wanted a low-maintenance garden that would look as if it had always been there. Branfield Farm consists of many elements, including the historic mansion, 150 acres of cornfields, a game shoot, a wildlife pond, an ancient Native American and an African American burial ground, a smokehouse, and an almshouse. This property had been neglected for almost 50 years when a London-based American family purchased it, returning to their Chesapeake Bay roots.
The masterplan and phased building restoration projects required careful attention to the site's historic context while also introducing a garden created as an essay in geometry - a cat's cradle - balancing the massive weight of the brick mansion house and its many scattered outbuildings. A pool and pergola were also added to further integrate the house and gardens within the surrounding farmland.