THE CIVILIZED JUNGLE

Step inside the grandest gardens from Palm Beach to the Hamptons
created by landscape architects Sanchez and Maddux.
Click On Small Image Below to Enlarge

Photography
Courtesy of Grayson Publishing

Text by
Kim Mosley

Palm Beach living — some choose it for the seclusion the island offers or for their vacation retreats to escape from their everyday. Others simply choose it for its prestigious subtropical environs amidst lavish gardens with the plants, pergolas, paths and plinths most at home in South Florida.

In Grayson Publishing's "The Civilized Jungle," author Bradford McKee invites readers into the world of tropical living — showcasing the most luxurious outdoor projects of landscape architects Jorge Sanchez and Phil Maddux. Shots of shady loggias and swimming pools, fresh lawns and flowing fountains offer a glimpse beyond the hedges of some of the most sumptuous private residential landscapes. Regal palm trees and white-capped waters provide the backdrop for these exclusive sanctuaries from the island of Palm Beach to Naples and Southampton.

"We wanted to make it broader than just Palm Beach," Sanchez says. "We wanted it to be a study in botanical gardens, and the art and architecture of landscaping." And in all its natural splendor, a good garden should always accentuate architectural hardscape, it should be an extension of the architecture rather than surpass it according to Sanchez.

Open onto a lake in Lost Tree, the Turtle Beach Garden in Palm Beach is set amidst a plethora of sensory pleasures. Indoors and outdoors blend as "nearly every interior room opens onto a part of the garden, where a spirit of joie de vivre hangs everywhere," McKee writes. "Magenta bougainvillea climbs the walls, while Florida flame vine sets the loggia roofs ablaze. A parterre of begonias hemmed by boxwood center a rear lawn paved with coquina grids at the edges." As in all of their designs featured, each photograph reveals a different vignette of this garden's private pleasures — including the lake view beyond an opening in the balustrades, where a stairway leads down to the waterside.

Another oasis is captured in an Everglades Island Garden. In this botanical creation along the Intracoastal Waterway of Palm Beach the designers have turned a swimming pool into what McKee describes as "a spectacular mirage — a flat, luminescent sheet of blue water inside coquina borders." The powerful design draws the eyes up and around an allée of six Canary Island date palms. Beyond, one can almost smell the jasmine covering the south-end wall centered by a lone seagrape tree.

"Landscape design is an abstraction of natural phenomena," Maddux says. "And at the same time, it is a finely tuned instrument necessary for civilized living in a tropical jungle." Through 19 design studies and more than 250 color photographs of private residences in Palm Beach and beyond, Sanchez and Maddux prove the enchantment of living in a tropical paradise can be an everyday experience.