An estate’s landscape is the canvas that sets the tone for the style and preferences of a residence. Well-designed gardens and grounds balance context with function; reflecting the architecture and environment while offering outdoor spaces that have a purpose; even if only a pretty view.
Estate properties have different needs than your typical residential lot. Extensive landscapes over several acres may include lawns, hedgerows, ornamental gardens, trees, flower beds, pots, water features and more. Estate gardening is more than just landscape maintenance; it’s guiding the development of a landscape over time, and it requires a specialized team.
“The most important factor in managing private estate gardens is having a good strong relationship with your client and clear communication with your team”, said Estate Gardener Carl Donnely in a recent conversation with Estate and Manor. “The other factor is having a skilled and reliable crew surrounding you all with the same vision for perfection.”
Depending upon the acreage, an estate landscape crew may include multiple team-members. There will be the ‘mow and blow’ guys who focus on maintenance, and perhaps a planting specialist who will do pots and flower beds. An estate landscape team may also include specialists to care for specific features such as ponds and fountains or food crops, or someone who specializes in pest control and fertilization, or these roles may be outsourced to service vendors.
The most important member of your landscape team is the crew leader or head gardener- someone to coordinate the efforts who has a background in horticulture, commercial gardening, or a wealth of experience. Carl notes that “As a Head Gardener you need to have a good eye for detail, and always be on the ball, with no room for exception.”
“It is important to be flexible when managing a garden on a private estate and appreciate that it takes a good first year to fully understand the garden” “From then on you can start the forward planning of the grounds in order for the garden to evolve. It is also very important to make sure that when planning the garden you take into account the seasons so that the garden looks colorful and to a high standard all year round.”