18 Private Gardens from the AD Archive That Will Make You Green with Envy

Jerome Powell

A golden glow infuses this landscape located on a 58-acre property in Pennsylvania.

Photo: Derek Fell, Architectural Digest, June 2005

A Bucolic Japanese Composition in Quaker Pennsylvania 

Surprisingly, this Japanese garden is located not far from an 1870s Quaker fieldstone farmhouse. The home’s owner decided to create an ambitious project of this scale after being inspired by the property’s hilly 58-acre landscape. Hiroshi Makita was tapped to spearhead the design and execution of the extensive grounds. “After [architect] Martin Rosenblum opened up the farmhouse to the beautiful surrounding countryside with large picture windows, balconies, and terraces, we were thrilled that views from inside the house revealed no horizon line because of the valley’s steep slopes, and so we began work on a Japanese cup garden in front of the house,” the homeowner explained to Architectural Digest. “The bottom of the cup was formed by two ponds that were regraded to give the shoreline a more natural shape.”

One rather formal California garden.

Photo: Arthur Matthew Gray, Architectural Digest, February 2005

A Rose-Tinted Parterre

“It was a very romantic ruin, and I have a passion for ruins,” Clara Yust said of the experience of discovering her L.A. home. “I could see the formal garden and fountain through the fence, and the fact that it was so abandoned. It was very tempting to take over.” That fleeting thought came to full fruition when Yust and her husband purchased and meticulously restored the 1920s abode. The hedges seen were maintained by the same gardener from 1921 to 1986 before experiencing a dormant period of care. The Yusts revived them, and brought the roses pictured here with them from their former home. 

Lunch is served en plein air.

Photo: Robert Reck, Architectural Digest, October 2004

Linda Ronstadt’s Perfect Pretty Outdoor Area

“Her yard is incredible—there are many unique spots,” interior designer Christy Martin commented to Architectural Digest of her client’s Tucson garden. That client was none other than singer Linda Ronstadt. Local firm Harlow Gardens created the space, which Ronstadt’s cat, Sally Mae, clearly enjoys. Ronstadt also puts its bounty to good use: “Linda loves fresh flowers, and she places them all over the house,” Martin reflected at the time. 

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