Home Grown With Local Talent -July 2018

by: Leslie Linsley

When Patti and Prenny Claflin purchased almost three acres of uncultivated land in the Shawkemo Hills area of Polpis in 1982, there weren’t many houses within sight. The area, which was once devoted to raising sheep, was just becoming desirable to those who wanted to live in the country. The Claflins chose the property specifically for its views and varied terrain that was populated with diverse species of trees and native shrubs.

“The bones of our original landscape design were created and planted by Lucinda Young, beginning in the spring of 1983,” Patti said.

The garden’s focus begins in March with the collection of bulbs. For years, the Claflins have planted an average of 3,000 spring bulbs. There are 450 different types of bulbs that tolerate our zone including tulips, peonies and iris.

The plan was to enhance what was already growing on the property, and to this end, Young delivered. It was the beginning of what would become the Claflins’ lifetime project.

Thirty-five years later, tending the gardens and greenhouse is still a passion the couple share and their property is a shining example of a true work in progress. Their days are happily filled with creative challenges and endless opportunities as they continue to add many more shrubs and trees, perennials and bulbs to their property each year. Meanwhile, the house has provided them with a comfortable, energy-efficient environment with magnificent views from every room, and they find its design has served them well over the years.

Architect Charlie Sawyer designed the 2,600 square-foot house that Prenny says is an homage to boating, with many built-ins, woodwork and handcrafted details throughout.

“Charlie planned the house with an open feeling, but it still had designated rooms,” Patti said. The house was oriented to afford them magnificent views overlooking the outer harbor and Great Point to the north, Sankaty Light to the east, woods to the west, and the appropriate southern exposure needed for an efficient solar greenhouse.


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