Extraordinary gardens share intimacies with the estates they embrace, delighting homeowners in ways that are both subtle and profound.
They are nothing if not personal. The palettes that captivate, the fragrances that enchant, the views that charm are singularly unique. Together these elements deliver a romanticized view of a small green universe to the point where the mere act of wandering through a garden can feel like a celebration of nature.
“Each owner has a different relationship with their gardens,” says Elena Araya Callís of Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty, “but what they all have in common is that their beautiful gardens inspire them to enjoy more time outdoors and more time with nature.”
Outdoor living spaces have never been more prized. Even in climates with short summers, homeowners are making al fresco rooms a priority, according to a survey on design trends by the American Institute of Architects.
“We see gardens as an extended living area,” says landscape architect Enzo Enea. His firm, headquartered in Switzerland with a satellite office in Miami, Fl., is behind dozens of high profile landscaping projects around the world. In sculpting the landform, Enea intertwines the soul of a house with its surroundings. “The way in which an individual lives and interacts within the space” drives the design, he says. Patios are more like wings of a home that have been embellished by nature.
Gardens take their cues from everywhere: light, movement, local landmarks, distant places and art. Formal European gardens famously draw from landscape paintings of the great masters. What’s more, the forms they take are no less diverse than those in interior design and architecture, from colorfully traditional to monochromatic modern and those that are culturally and geographically inspired. In the Costa Rica capital of San Jose, an Italian-style villa is ringed by classic formal gardens of mature trees, showy flowers and dreamy focal points like a reflecting pool designed to capture light, “especially during sunsets creating an idyllic setting,” says Callís.
It is a garden, like all gardens, always in motion, sharing new stories by the season and sometimes by the footstep.