Busy with commercial projects all around the world and two television shows (one on HGTV and the other on ABC), in-demand landscape designer Fernando Wong only takes on a select number of residential projects each year, so the clients that do manage to book him often feel like they’ve won some sort of garden lottery. One of those recent commissions was a Palm Beach estate with two acres of grounds that were in dire need of his award-winning touch.
“I met the homeowner when two of my projects were on one of the Garden Club of Palm Beach’s home tours,” says Wong. “She especially loved one of my formal gardens and asked that I do something similar for her.”
After an official consultation, Wong and his seasoned team went to work on a proper English garden with a Palm Beach slant. The designer was particularly inspired by a wrought iron folly that the homeowner had previously purchased, and decided to make it the focal point for the plot. “I fell in love with it the moment I saw it,” says Wong. “I always try to incorporate antique elements in my design, and [this piece] draws the eye to that part of the landscape. It’s a wonderful spot to have coffee in the morning and a drink a night.”
In terms of greenery and blooms, Wong opted for species that can withstand Florida’s harsh heat and frequent downpours, including Green Island ficus, Eugenia, holly, blue cotoneaster, and white Pilea.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Fernando Wong garden without a wow moment or two. This happens in a more secluded part of the property with a set of statues called the Four Seasons. “They represent spring, summer, fall, and winter as both times of the year and as stages in our lives,” says Wong. “They looked so forlorn when I first saw them, but I’m thrilled that they now have a home in this lush, civilized jungle. I’m crazy about them.”
Text by Luis R. Rigual
Photography by Carmel Brantley