A Greenwich landscape – on Greenwich Mean Time

WAG readers know Valerio Morano Sagliocco from articles on his Lago restaurant in the Silver Lake section of Harrison — where patrons quickly become part of a big Italian family, enveloped in good food, good wine and good conversation (June 2015 and January 2016 WAG).

But Sagliocco is a landscaper by trade. As the director and principal designer of Morano Landscape Garden Design in Mamaroneck and president/managing partner of Ridgeway Garden Center in White Plains, he’s been working on a challenging project in Greenwich’s undulating backcountry for the past two years.

Now his efforts have paid off, as the estate, North Court, was featured in the July issue of Architectural Digest magazine.

It’s the home of paper magnate/entrepreneur Drew M. Aaron and his wife, model Hana Soukupová. The couple are also notable collectors of such contemporary artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol, and the intimate interiors by Mark Cunningham — the main focus of the Architectural Digest article — have a Modernist quality with midcentury furnishings by Jean Royère and Charlotte Perriand.

But the exterior of 100-year-old North Court is a decidedly traditional brick-and-limestone affair with an English country feel. (The manse is said to be a replica of the north court of a great English country house that was the home of the original owner’s wife.) And it was to that exterior that Sagliocco deferred in implementing the plan of landscape architect Robin Kramer, featured in WAG back in 2012.

“She gave us some base maps, with myself and the homeowner tweaking and fine-tuning them,” says Sagliocco, who met Aaron through a mutual friend and Sotheby’s auction house. “The thing was to be true to the historical nature of the house but at the same time, we kicked it up a notch.”

The result is a series of exterior spaces that juxtapose the lush, casual and colorful with the formal and verdant — just as in an English country estate. And it’s all delineated by English and American boxwood, columnar hornbeams, taxus hedges and hollies, while English ivy and wisteria caress the brick façade.

The eight to 10 acres embrace roses, peonies, verbena, Russian sage and nepeta. But there’s also a vegetable garden, with tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, blueberries and such herbs as mint and basil. It’s the special passion of Soukupová, with blueberries being a favorite, Sagliocco says over a leisurely lunch at Lago.

The overall landscaping took eight months, with Sagliocco on site every day to oversee the construction and restoration of the pool patio, terraces and some brickwork as well.

Recently, Sagliocco planted shielding arborvitaes at North Court where a back retaining wall has deteriorated. In the landscaping business, maintenance is forever. It’s how a garden grows.

For more, visit moranolandscape.com.

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