EXEMPLARY LANDSCAPING MAKES A PROPERTY’S OUTDOOR SPACE PLEASINGLY RESTORATIVE
BY IYNA BORT CARUSO
Beautiful residential gardens are the green equivalent of surround sound. They envelop, intensify, and enrich the very experience of being. It’s like an embrace from nature.
The opportunity to interact with the landscape provides homeowners with a sense of belonging. “The more personal, the more meaningful,” says Edward Furner, landscape designer and horticulturalist at Mariani Landscape in Lake Bluff, Ill. “Engaging in the landscape—that’s the ideal scenario where homeowners are reaping the biggest benefit.”
It’s the same trend that Michael Dreyfus, a broker with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International in Palo Alto, Calif., is seeing in his region, particularly in the form of working gardens. “Simple vegetable beds have expanded into entire kitchen gardens,” he says.
A prime example is Dreyfus’ listing for a Tuscan-style country estate in Woodside, Calif., about 25 miles from San Francisco. Three-hundred-year-old terracotta roof tiles, limestone terraces and hand-carved doors transport you to the Italian country side. The entire property is landscaped as a large garden that includes native plants, expansive lawns, professionally designed lighting, and many options for recreation and entertaining. “The vegetable and cutting garden takes advantage of the mild climate to give you flowers and fresh produce that you can enjoy al fresco in the redwood grove dining area, lit by an outdoor chandelier, it’s so enchanting,” he says.
In new construction, landscape design firms work closely with architects to carry out the homeowner’s vision and complement the style of the home. As an example, Furner says “modern architecture lends itself to a relatively simple palette with a very geometric landscape design.”
Technology has automated many aspects of landscape design, particularly in the commercial sector, yet residential landscaping remains labor intensive. Furner counts among his company’s projects lakefront properties that required materials to be barged in because the topography around the home was too steep to negotiate.
More than ever, homeowners are looking for more flexible outdoor spaces, according to a trends survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects. They want to dine outdoors, watch movies under the stars, and sit around a fire. Refined design draws people out of their homes to a place that feels restorative.
“When we prepare homes for sale, landscaping is a huge part of what we do,” Dreyfus notes. Surroundings play heavily into the buying decision. “It’s where all the emotion comes in. If we don’t feel there’s an emotional quotient already there with the landscaping, we’ll put it in.”
Iyna Bort Caruso is a New York-based journalist.
In the heart of the exclusive Cap d’Antibes, benefiting from a prime location and sea views, this exceptional property of contemporary style has a protected and historic landscaped garden. Le Mas Fleuri offers 900 square meters of living space and features large reception areas opening onto terraces facing the sea, along with nine en-suite bedrooms. Set on 5,000 square meters of grounds with multiple terraces, a pool, and pool house, this magnificent property is a jewel of the French Riviera.
Escazú, San Jose
At the Spiritual Home and Atelier, the wind sounds constantly and the trees dance incessantly in the immense gardens. A spring supplies the property with pure water, while ponds and waterfalls bring in wildlife. The ponds are also home to the Chinese-originated koi fish that shine with their orange colors—a symbol of abundance and wealth. The owner says this property of 3.5 acres is inspired by the three pillars of his life—nature, art, and meditation—making it a sanctuary of peace in the hills of Pico Blanco, Escazú. It is also privileged with a panoramic view of the Central Valley of Costa Rica with its three volcanoes: Poas, Irazu, and Barva.
As you pass through its antique wrought-iron gates, a classic 1912 Montecito Spanish revival estate is unveiled, featuring spectacular ocean and mountain views, with formal gardens on 2.72 manicured acres. The sprawling grounds showcase a pool, spa, koi pond, meditation garden, a well, and ocean views. The main residence has four en-suite bedrooms, of which three are upstairs, plus four full bathrooms and two half-baths. The formal dining and living rooms are accented with beautiful wood-paneled walls, great natural light, and breathtaking ocean vistas. The spacious kitchen, equipped with Viking appliances, has a cozy nook, a fireplace, and French doors leading out to a terrace that is perfect for entertaining and admiring the Santa Barbara coastline. The lower level hosts the gym, sauna, and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest apartment with an expansive living room, an individual entrance, and sweeping views of the Pacific. Nestled in Montecito, La Ladera Estate promotes tranquility and renewal—it’s truly a place that will make your heart feel at home.
An elegant, Tuscan-style, country estate expertly designed with unparalleled attention to detail. Stunning architectural elements imported from Italy add texture and a sense of history. The Italian villa built on this property was designed to take full advantage of the natural beauty of the setting, such as redwood groves, sun-dappled meadows, and a meandering stream. A lush garden flourishes in the mild climate, providing not only beauty but also fresh produce that can be enjoyed al fresco in the dining area set in the middle of the redwood grove.
Coco Casa, Waiheke Island
This is a luxurious estate where European sophistication and style are immersed in tranquility and timelessness. Perched high on the Awaawaroa ridge, Coco Casa is bounded by a nature reserve and its own regenerating native bush, overlooking the Poderi Crisci vineyards. With seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms, including six en-suites, each generous bedroom has expansive views over the neighboring vines and tranquil valley, out to the harbor and Auckland city skyline. Step through a “Bond-style” hidden bookshelf to reveal private living quarters and a potager garden. Over 416 square meters of accommodation elegantly surrounds a tropical internal courtyard complete with a 15- meter tiled reflection pool at its center.