A ROCK-STREWN SLOPE BECOMES AN OASIS OF CALM FOR AN INDIAN BRONXVILLE FAMILY
Borrow a little from English garden design, add some Japanese and other Asian touches and throw in a dash of American prairie. Sound like a horticultural hodgepodge? Not in the capable hands of landscape designer Robert Welsch of Westover Landscape Design in Tarrytown, who combined those elements to create a harmonious Bronxville garden worthy of its official name: Shanti, from the Sanskrit word for "peace."
The garden's owners, who are originally from India, wanted a tranquil retreat to share with family members who visit each summer to escape monsoon season. "A pleasure garden in the Indian sense is all about sensual delight, appealing not only to the eye but to the sense of smell," says Welsch. "And because they wanted a lot of color and fragrance in July and August, the focus had to be on late bloomers."
The house, a handsome 1910 stone Tudor, sits amid mature trees—white pines, Norway maples and a graceful old cherry. Already in place were a large flagstone dining terrace (complete with tandoor oven for Indian meals) and a mahogany pergola. A waterfall trickled down to a small fishpond next to the terrace. Otherwise, the one-acre plot presented a challenge. "The property is on a tremendous slope, and there was quite a bit of rubble and debris left by the mason who built the dining terrace," says Welsch. "It looked like the Flintstones had lived there."