Equestrian estate in South Africa with beautiful garden
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Outdoor Luxury: 7 Homes with Gardens, Greenhouses & Courtyards

Ahead of Earth Day (April 22), Luxury Defined spotlights a collection of green and grand properties for farm-to-table living

For more than a half-century, Earth Day has been commemorated on April 22 as a global day of observance of our planet’s fundamental health. It is the largest civic event on Earth, recognized by more than a billion people.  

To celebrate the 53rd Earth Day, Luxury Defined cultivates this collection of properties with different styles of green and growing things, with gardens formal, informal, or otherwise; with greenhouses large and small; and even courtyards or dooryards that embrace everything from blooms to kitchen herbs. So, trowels up: These are homes with outstanding amenities for the green-thumbed amateur and farm-to-table grower alike. 

1. Cape Dutch Equestrian Farm in Noordhoek, South Africa 

Equestrian estate in South AfricaEquestrian estate in South AfricaEquestrian estate in South Africa

This five-acre equestrian property nestles into the landscape overlooking Noordhoek and Slangkop Lighthouse, offering utmost privacy and tranquility, just 30 minutes from Cape Town.

The main residence, a classic Cape Dutch thatched farmhouse, executes traditional designs with contemporary interior themes, fixtures, and finishes. Outside, verandas and lawned gardens lead down to a pool and thatched pavilion with a traditional braai barbecue. A two-story cottage offers self-contained accommodation for guests. 

The equestrian complex provides stabling for five horses, feed and tack rooms, a groom’s kitchen and bath, as well as run-in sheds, a lunging ring, 11 sand paddocks, and two grass paddocks. The wooded, landscaped grounds offer a sheltered kitchen garden with a greenhouse.

A top pond and waterfall feed into a pond stocked with tilapia. Resident ducks supervise a chicken coop, koi pond, and access to miles of bridle paths and hiking trails. 

2. Kenzo House in Paris, France 

Kenzo House, Paris
Like his fashion, Kenzo Takada conceived his Parisian home as an eclectic convergence of East and West, cultures and art, textures and colors, light and form, with a Zen master’s reverence for nature. Architect Kengo Kuma’s 2018 renovation kept faith with that vision. 

Kenzo House is a refuge in the City of Light. The former home of the legendary Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada is hidden far from view in the courtyard of an 18th-century residential building in the city’s trendy Bastille district.

Built around its own interior courtyard, the 13,778-square-foot, four-story, cedar-clad residence is anchored to nature by landscaped terraces on an authentic Japanese garden with a stone-studded pond stocked with nishiki carp. 

The original project took about seven years to complete. A redesign by architect Kengo Kuma in 2017 reconfigured the layout, bringing that transparency to each room and orienting all views toward the garden: a Zen-like oasis with cherry and maple trees, bamboos, junipers, lichens, mosses, rocks, and waterfalls that mimic the calm and serenity of the Japanese landscape.  

3. Prestigious Compact Estate in Jersey, Channel Islands 

Luxury estate garden in Jersey Channel IslandsLuxury estate garden in Jersey Channel IslandsLuxury estate garden in Jersey Channel Islands

This magnificent property on nearly four landscaped acres near Saint Helier is one of the finest homes on the island of Jersey. A secure gated entry frames the immaculate grounds, which include a regulation tennis court, heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, sun terraces, and lawned gardens with a pond and fountain. 

The stately manor house was rebuilt in a classical style in 2015 with interior design by Lady Henrietta Spencer Churchill. Three levels of luxurious living space begin at the opulent double-height entrance hall with a crystal chandelier and gold leaf-accented staircase and balustrade.

Just beyond is an open-plan reception room for entertaining on a grand or intimate scale. Contemporary appointments include a large kitchen and separate prep kitchen, a temperature-controlled wine room, cinema, and a four-bay garage with two upstairs suites.  

4. Castello Pacifico in Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 

Luxury tropical villa in Costa Rica
Castello Pacifico is a sanctuary of glorious gardens above the sand and surf of Flamingo Beach on Costa Rica’s Guanacaste coast.

Castello Pacifico, an Italian palazzo-inspired tropical escape overlooking Playa Flamingo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is the creation of local architect Ronald Zurcher.

The architecture, a blend of European, Colonial, and indigenous influences, is complemented by fine artworks and bespoke furniture. Encompassing nearly 13,000 square feet, the open floor plan invites entertaining for parties great or small. 

The living spaces are anchored by a palm-lined central courtyard with a stunning sea-view infinity pool. Surrounding the home are 1.25 acres of tropical grounds with a 360-degree vista of Playa Flamingo, Isla Plata, and the Pacific Ocean.

Furthering the allure are beautiful English-style gardens, a thatched pavilion, carport, staff cottage, and a wooden stairway leading down to a secluded cove with a white sand beach. 

5. Quinta de Santa Maria do Covão in Loures, Portugal 

Quinta in PortugalQuinta in PortugalQuinta in Portugal

Built in 1677, Quinta de Santa Maria do Covão is a horticulturist’s haven in the historic agricultural region of Loures, just 20 minutes’ drive north of charming, cosmopolitan Lisbon.

It comprises an elegant manor house, a caretaker’s cottage, guest house, six-car garage, tennis court, swimming pool, and pool house on 20 acres. 

The glorious grounds are a paradise of pine and eucalyptus trees, shrubberies, fruit and vegetable gardens, supported by several greenhouses and agricultural warehouses.

With 12 bedrooms and seven full bathrooms, its ample accommodations and picturesque grounds have great potential as a luxury boutique hotel or family compound. A contiguous, three-acre parcel with planning permission is also available for purchase. 

6. 1920s Manor House in Lake Forest, Illinois, United States 

Lake Forest manor in Illinois
A majestic Harrie T. Lindeberg-designed “country house” in the green suburbs of Lake Forest, Illinois, wraps its great lawns and formal gardens in the privacy of an evergreen arborvitae fenceline. [Image courtesy of Leslie Avis, VHT]

This two-acre estate on coveted Lake Road in Lake Forest, Illinois, was designed in 1929 by Harrie T. Lindeberg, master architect of the great American country home.

The grandly scaled French-style manor house has been meticulously restored to preserve Lindeberg’s touch: its brick and limestone exterior’s symmetries in native stone; its light-filled, lavishly appointed interiors offering wide plank floors, oversized windows, an inlaid compass rose and a soaring floating staircase. Finishes include German silver fittings, Baccarat and Bagues sconces, and Gracie Chinoiserie wall coverings. 

The wood-paneled library is lacquered in a dark caviar shade; the formal dining room has its original fireplace and a Maison Bagues chandelier.

The garden room has stone flooring and French doors out to the vast, west-facing formal gardens, a haven of bucolic splendor wrapped by an evergreen arborvitae fence for complete privacy.  

7. Pastoral Estate in Louveciennes, Yvelines, France 

Contemporary home with garden outside Paris, FranceContemporary home with garden outside Paris, FranceContemporary home with garden outside Paris, France

Greenhouse glass and oversized windows illuminate this contemporary masterpiece.

It’s a luxurious open-plan retreat ensconced within 1.5 acres in Louveciennes, a leafy enclave just outside Paris that inspired such Impressionist painters as Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

The gardens are bordered by acres of private woodland, once the grounds of Château de Madame du Barry, the estate of Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry, mistress of Louis XV. 

The six-bedroom home offers 5,812 square feet of living space (as conservatively defined by France’s Carrez Law). The centerpiece is an elegant double-height entrance hall crowned with a glass barrel-vault ceiling.

The garden level includes a spacious family room opening to the grounds. All the upper-floor bedrooms open to terraces, including the principal suite. A mezzanine office overlooks the wooded gardens below.  

Explore more luxury listings featuring lush outdoor gardens, greenhouses, and courtyards here, or read more eco-friendly themed content.