Outdoor living areas have never been more prized. According to a recent design-trend survey by the American Institute of Architects, homeowners are making al fresco spaces a priority – even in climates with short summers. With his eponymous firm engaged in dozens of high-profile projects around the world, Miami-based landscape architect Enzo Enea is well suited to confirm the trend. “We see gardens as an extended living area,” he explains, adding that patios, most specifically, should be considered as wings of a home naturally embellished by nature.
But extraordinary gardens extend far beyond exterior dining and lounging spaces. With palettes that captivate the eye, fragrances that enchant the senses and views that lift the spirit, the best gardens delight in ways that are both subtle and profound. Taking their cues from the area’s light, weather and landmarks as much as from distant places and cherished artworks, finely landscaped gardens are no less personal, nor less diverse, than the products of fine interior design and architecture. Whether traditional and colourful, modern and minimalist, or culturally and geographically inspired, they are also – and perhaps above all – glorious celebrations of nature, small green universes designed to suit their owners’ tastes and needs. As Enea notes, his work always aims to intertwine the soul of a house with its surroundings, and his approach is driven by “the way in which an individual lives in and interacts with the environment.”
“Each owner has a different relationship with his or her garden,” says Elena Araya Callís of Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty. “What they all have in common, however, is that their beautiful gardens inspire them to enjoy more time with nature.” In the Costa Rican capital of San José, for example, an Italian-style villa ringed by classic formal gardens with mature trees and showy flowers offers such dreamy focal points as a reflecting pool designed to capture the light, “especially during sunsets,” Callís says. Such moments, she explains, create “an idyllic setting.” Like all gardens, this one is always in motion, generating new stories by the season and sometimes by the footstep. Like all extraordinary gardens, it is a variegated work of art that enhances the home’s beauty as well as its value.
Flawlessly designed by renowned architect Ronald Zurcher, this Italian-style property is located in Pinares, an exclusive neighbourhood located on the east side of the Costa Rican capital. Classic European gardens adorned by a reflecting pool make the perfect setting to enjoy this residence’s endless views.
$3,600,000 Property ID: 47MBV2 | sothebysrealty.com
Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty
Catalina Sauma +506 2253 5333
A humble estate situated among rolling hills in the exclusive gated golf community of Castle Pines, Gan Aden (Hebrew for “Garden of Eden”) offers extraordinary craftsmanship and design focused on blurring the boundaries between indoor space and outdoor living areas. Its award-winning Japanese terraced garden converges on a tranquil waterfall, which cascades into a koi pond shaped like the Japanese symbol for heart. A ceremonial teahouse and separate spot for yoga and meditation create another serene oasis.
$3,900,000 Property ID: R9TS3K | sothebysrealty.com
LIV Sotheby’s International Realty
Douglas D. Kerbs +1 303 898 7818
Known locally as the Castle on Lake Tahoe, this gated waterfront château stretches over two lots, offering a rare 180 feet of Lake Tahoe frontage. Designed to delight owners who like to entertain, this residence features night-lit gardens and fountains, illuminated ponds, walking paths and flowering shrubs and roses, as well as a creek-side outdoor dining space.
$23,900,000 Property ID: M639P3 | sothebysrealty.com
Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty
Janet Pahl +1 775 745 6826
This 18th-century palazzo has been modernised to a luxurious standard without sacrificing its historic charm. Stunning views of beautifully landscaped gardens can be enjoyed from all of this home’s main rooms.
$4,200,000 Property ID: VJ7 | sothebysrealty.com
Malta Sotheby’s International Realty +1 356 2010 8070
LEAD IMAGE: BEAUTIFULLY LANDSCAPED PROPERTIES SUCH AS THIS ONE IN COSTA RICA HONOUR NATURE WHILE SPEAKING VOLUMES ABOUT THE OWNERS’ STYLE.