A grand entryway or elegant dining room can wow your guests, but nothing leaves a lasting impression like a spectacular garden.
The good news is that homeowners can grow thriving gardens anywhere. Every region in the U.S. belongs to a specific plant hardiness zone, and because of that, it’s easy to choose perennials that will survive the winter and create show-stealing green spaces. Endemic species are easy to care for and help nourish local biodiversity, while exotic species can generally acclimatize to a range of situations.
To envision what’s possible for a variety of gardens in a variety of settings, leaf through these luxurious properties and see how they’ve cultivated their vegetation to create gorgeous venues.
A Flowering Oasis in the Tucson Desert
An arid region such as Tucson, set amid the Sonoran Desert and surrounded by five low-rising mountain ranges, may at first glance seem daunting for gardeners. But the subtropical climate and warm year-round weather makes places like this great for drought-tolerant landscaping, or “xeriscaping”.
The fact that plants can proliferate in the dry Arizona heat is on full display at Eleven Arches, a rare trophy property designed in 1937 for a glamorous heiress, and officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With a lot that can accommodate 70 cars and a south yard with space for 250 guests, picture a private retreat—like a company summit or a wellness getaway—at this illustrious gated residence in the Catalina Foothills, with shrubs and cacti in full flower.
The Trees are All Abloom in Los Angeles
In mild regions, vegetation is adapted to seasonal variations in temperature and rainfall. That’s typically the case with Mediterranean-style climates, such as Los Angeles, where most of the year is hot and dry—but cool, clement winters and the proximity of the coast creates fluctuations that support a range of flora.
That’s why this Beverly Hills residence, with its front drive through a lush copse, and a back patio densely swathed in wisteria vines, would be an incredible place to host a glittering soirée. With custom sliding doors connecting the state-of-the-art kitchen to the al fresco dining area, guests can savor hors-d’œuvres while taking in the city of angels’ magical vistas.
Ripe Vines in Napa Valley Wine Country
The temperate conditions that sustain the nation’s farmlands and orchards also nurture the growth of wonderful gardens. This is particularly true in wine country, such as Napa Valley, where ample sunshine and fertile soil allows for the burgeoning of vineyards and backyards alike.
Complemented by fountains and pools, tennis and bocce courts, and a world-class wine cellar, you’d be hard-pressed to find a place more suitable for a celebratory luncheon or post-event reception than the garden of this luxury compound. Set out a table on the grounds of this sprawling, lushly landscaped property, and get ready for a leisurely afternoon of wine pairing, food sharing, and basking in the bright blue glow of Lake Hennesey.
New York City’s Quiet, Natural Sanctums
Those living in coastal regions will be accustomed to maritime settings, with substantial precipitation, moist air, and moderate or humid weather all year long. When sown with the proper species and cultivars, gardens are energized by these conditions—even in busy metropolises such as New York City.
Enclosed by mature pear trees, and boasting an enviable limestone terrace and landscaped garden, this townhouse shows just how green an urban neighborhood like the Upper East Side can be. It’s easy to imagine an elegant tea time or posh brunch taking place in this prestigious 1870 construction, with its expansive roof deck looking out towards Midtown Manhattan.
Evergreen Yet Ever-Changing in Chicago
Inland regions make up most of the continental U.S., with major cities, vibrant communities, and distinct, dynamic seasons that enable gardeners to display a diverse mix of vegetation. Chicago is a perfect example of this—hot summers, cold winters, and spring and fall weather that’s as variegated as the local trees and flowers.
This estate in the affluent Lincoln Park neighborhood demonstrates the area’s natural splendor, as does the eponymous lakeside woodland. Built on a parcel of land larger than eight city lots, the mansion is a genuine masterpiece. There would be no better place to hold a formal banquet or gala than in its ornately-wrought garden pavilion, positioned between bountiful greenery, antique fountains, and meditative reflecting pools.
To anyone who believes that they lack the space, light, or location to cultivate a garden—take heart. There are trees, shrubs, and blooms suited to every possible environment, and suited to every personal style.