Natural Oasis In New Canaan, CT

Natural Oasis in New Canaan, CT

We collaborated with Bob DiMartino of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Brian Connors & Company to create a beautiful outdoor retreat in New Canaan, CT. The end result was featured in “Serendipity Magazine” – an upscale lifestyle magazine that covers Fairfield County, CT.

The architectural renovation of this home and new landscape includes several features which presented challenges and opportunities to develop a sustainable landscape. An existing earth pond with an EPDM liner was part of the original landscape when the house was purchased.

The pond was 26,000 thousand gallons and lacked adequate filtration and no drainage system. Working with an architect, landscape architect, engineer and building contractor, the Water shaping Division of our Landscape Construction Department constructed what has been called a natural oasis, a place where healing begins.

Although technologically complex to construct, we consider the finished product a work of artistic expression. This is a living artwork with fish, plants and animals (the dogs’ swimming pool).

Storm water management and drainage were a primary concern. Spring flooding, in particular the Norwalk River, caused basement flooding in part to a perched aquifer and seasonable high water table. Sheet flow from neighboring properties and watersheds was profuse. To alleviate the problem, a 325 ft trench/perimeter drain was installed, 10 ft deep with 2 manholes for maintenance and management. A rock hammer was employed to remove bedrock to install the trench. Discharge deflected into an existing wetland cattail bog.

The engineered system includes a bottom drain air line/compressor as well as bio filters and UV sterilizer. Live bacteria (probiotics) were added with the plants. There are 2 waterfall features, one natural under a wooden bridge, and one formal including a masonry spa.

What was once an unsightly drainage pit became the focal point for a beautiful home and landscape. It satisfied the highest aesthetics while conforming to the basic requirements of sustainability.