How Millionaires Landscape Their Mansions
Millionaires typically hire landscape architects to work with the architects designing their homes so the home and the land work together to enhance the best features of each. If the home is a historical mansion, however, the original design of the landscaping may already accent the best features of the house, but if it does not, it will need to be updated. A good landscape architect and gardening team can work together to select landscaping, terracing, garden layouts and plantings that enhance the home’s appearance and show it off to its best advantage.
Landscape plans take the interests of the residents into account. You might find swimming pools, tennis courts, volleyball courts and putting greens on the grounds, skillfully worked in with manicured lawns, terraced hills, borders, formal gardens, flower beds, topiaries and hedges. You will see a combination of evergreen and deciduous trees, strategically placed, trees that will grow into large shade trees and flowering fruit trees for beauty in the spring.
The biggest new trend is outdoor “rooms.” The rooms are usually on the outside of the back wall or a side wall of the house. Most have some type of a roof, which can be as close to nature as arbor lattice work with vining plants growing over the top, or as substantial as an actual roof extension from the main roof. Often it’s an awning that can be extended to cover the outdoor room, or retracted so that it’s not visible, leaving the room open.
The new outdoor rooms will usually have a fire pit or even a fireplace, a bar with seating, outdoor cooking and grilling equipment which is usually pretty sophisticated, a dining table and chairs and softer more comfortable seating for lounging, like outdoor sofas and chairs. Some even have big screen TVs. All are finished with plantings in containers that are selected for color, design and the light the outdoor room provides.
The gardens and plantings themselves are carefully planned for plants that will bloom continuously throughout the growing season and are selected for the climate. Perennial borders are planted around the perimeters with taller plants in the back and shorter ones in front and are filled in with new annuals each season.
Some mansions lend themselves beautifully to formal English gardens, or Japanese gardens, depending on the preferences of the owners. Some mansions have reflecting pools that are not for swimming. These are often in a side yard away from the swimming pool and sometimes have fountains with night lighting.