When the team at Hollander Design was tapped to overhaul the three-and-a-half acres of gardens at a Hobe Sound residence on Jupiter Island, the lead on the project knew exactly what was needed.
“The existing landscape had little relationship to the architecture, which made it feel disjointed, as the outdoor spaces did not feel like part of the home,” says Geoffrey Valentino, a partner and studio director at Hollander. “Our intent was to make outdoor living effortless by enhancing the connection between the landscape and the home through a series of exterior rooms and garden spaces.”
The landscape design firm (which is based in New York and Chicago but works regularly in Florida) began the project the way it always does—by identifying what it calls the “three ecologies” of the enterprise. Or, as Valentino puts it: “We’re inspired by the ecology of the site, which means understanding its natural attributes, its features, and plant life. [We also look at the] ecology of the architecture, the style of the home and its orientation and connection to the land. [And then we consider] the human ecology, how people will use and live within the site. By balancing these ecologies, we always arrive at a design that is inspired by the distinctive elements that make every home unique.”
The three words of directive used by the homeowners were “tailored, relaxed, and tropical,” adjectives that don’t always go hand in hand. Valentino and his team complied with a green and white palette and “designed a clean edge around all the planting areas with clipped Green Island ficus and then allowed all the interior plantings to be loose and layered to showcase texture and a tropical feeling.” As beautiful as it is to look at, the plant life is also native or adaptive, which means it can take the proximity to the ocean and the salt, wind, and humidity that comes with that.
In terms of outdoor living areas, there are plenty (pool, tennis court, and multiple seating nooks), and most are strategically located to avoid the warm, salty winds from the ocean. The location of the swimming pool was also carefully considered. “We shifted the orientation of the pool to be on an axis with the family room of the main house,” says Valentino. “This new alignment creates a sense of order and balance, as well as a clearly defined guest area that offers privacy and easy access to property amenities.”
All the painstaking decisions paid off in the end. “We were elated to win a recognition from the American Society of Landscape Architects for this project,” says Valentino, “but what makes us happiest is knowing that our clients spend a lot of time at this property with their family. It’s the home they hoped for.”
Text by Christopher Day
Photography by Charles Mayer