The home doesn’t look like it belongs in Naples—or anywhere in Florida for that matter—and that was the main appeal. When Patrick Trefz of Outside Productions was first approached about creating the gardens of a golf community residence built to resemble a centuries-old European farmhouse, the landscape architect couldn’t say yes fast enough.
After some research into antique farmsteads and country houses in France, Britain, and other nations in the old continent, Trefz and his seasoned team dug into the project with as much authenticity as possible.
“Our client had a strong conceptual vision for the project,” says Trefz. “[We were to treat this] as a property that had been owned by several generations of the same family.”
As the make-believe got underway, the Outside Productions team focused on greenery and vegetation that would read genuine, such as an oak tree for the front yard, silver agave, fine-texture grasses, and bougainvillea for pops of color. They also incorporated features that matched the home’s exterior architecture, such as stone walls made with Ozark moss. Ornamental extras, such as fountains and water features, also echo the rustic shell of the house. “[The goal was to] design the garden as if it was the remains of an earlier formal garden that had become a little overgrown and haphazard over the years as it was passed from one generation to the next,” says Trefz. “If you look closely, you can see the bones of the ‘old garden’ in features such as the low-border hedges.”
There are surprises along the way, including citrus trees in terra cotta pots, a fire pit that backs up to a natural preserve, and a pool, which is an obvious departure from the whole fantasy, but a homeowner must.
“The client directive for this commission was rather unique and that was exciting,” says Trefz. “It made the project extra special for us.”
Text by Luis R. Rigual
Photography by Lori Hamilton