A Perfect Paradise: Classic Villa Garden by Jacques van Leuken

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This garden is truly a classic, one that’s set up to a grand scale, indeed, in a stunning landscape design by Dutch landscaper Jacques van Leuken. Highly symmetrical, highly disciplined, this garden gives the feeling that everything is in its proper place: set up in a structured semicircle from wrought-iron gate to lay of the land, it forms its own internal compass in harmony with sky and sun. Block trees line a walkway, with more trees flanked by gorgeous roses and lush ground cover. Natural materials of the highest quality are in evidence here, in fine granites, Belgian bluestones, and an exquisite modern sculpture that ornaments the vast expanse of lawn. You’ll notice careful attention to line and proportion here, in the neat trimmed shrubs and triple sets of shallow steps to the deck.

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Sprinklings of just the right amount of color trim the tops of retaining walls, themselves of pristine pale brick. Even within this disciplined, proportionate propriety, though, the natural wildness of a great garden asserts itself, in a splendid expanse of cobblestoned path that seems to show you one treasured outdoor “room” after another. Notice the romantic touches in the midst of all this tailored elegance: lanterns light the paths for moonlight rambles, rhododendrons cascade in exuberant parade around gates and along fences, and arbors and bird statues enhance a simple sitting area in the midst of a flower bed. The effect is classic, and a touch larger-than-life. Yet this is a place that invites relaxation, a masterpiece of symmetry and green by Jacques van Leuken.

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