A Destination Garden

A Destination Garden
Text by Jackson Finds     Photography + Video by Darryl Estrine

Sprawling natural stone patios, shimmering pool areas, and beautiful outdoor kitchens are often best enjoyed in the company of good friends and close family. But a complete landscape design strives to offer so much more diversity than just these well-known entertaining spaces. It offers a feeling of a getaway, a quick escape into a place of calm, relaxation that offers a sense of rejuvenation after a return. A place for intimate conversation or deep thoughts; inspiration.

Enter the currently trending destination garden.

Just off the beaten path lies a secret garden getaway. A meandering path of Pennsylvania bluestone slabs—just as timeless as the earth they rest on—invite the eye and entice the mind with glimpses of what may lie just beyond. Outdoor garden rooms—or destination gardens—are essentially a series of connected, yet separate, spaces within a larger property. In the case of one masterfully developed and maintained property in NY, these spaces are indeed on a larger property. 


With over 14 sprawling acres to work with, Jason Gordon, along with his skilled team at Total Turf Landscaping, has shaped the grounds of this Westchester, NY residence to perfectly fit the lifestyle of its owners. Avid gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts, homeowners Steven and Marci McCormick collaboratively worked with Jason to create a series of stunning outdoor rooms. 

Off the East side of the home, a few steps down from the home’s back patio and pool area, begins a lazy path. Surrounded by lush plantings of Hostas, Pachysandra, Ferns, and Myrtle that somehow seem that they’ve been there for 100 years, the path ends at a secluded circular patio. In the center of the irregular PA bluestone slabs, sits a natural stone fire pit, that when complemented by the perfectly curved seat wall of matching stature, creates a space worthy of marshmallow-roasting bliss. 

A brief stroll away, amidst the vast green hillside, sits a concrete and wrought iron gazebo reminiscent of classic roman architecture. “Steven and Marci thought that the view from up there looking down on rest of the property was nice,” explains Gordon. "Then vice-versa, if you were looking up to the hill, the gazebo was something that caught your eye on the hillside.” The result is a secluded retreat that seems to transport its visitors to a time long ago. 

Transitioning from the Roman-inspired gazebo space down the hill to what could very easily be a park bench in France, the Total Turf Landscaping team transformed an ordinary planting bed into yet another destination spot. Offering a stunning view of the setting sun beyond the tree line, the classically designed garden bench sits between two flowering Crab Apple trees, warmly welcoming visitors as they motor up the driveway.  

And then there’s the beautifully structured vegetable garden, blooming in all its Hudson Valley bounty at the very far end of the long drive. “We had nothing to do with his vegetable garden,” Gordon quickly interjects, “that’s all Steven,” he laughs. 

Well, then, I guess this property really is an outdoor home.