Travel motivates most people and my recent trip to Europe certainly inspired me. One of the many highlights was a breathtaking bike tour at Versailles. It was my first time at the palace, but it had a feeling of familiarity, as if I had been there before. Our tour guide was Patrick, a gentleman from Dublin, who loves music, wine, Paris, and life itself. During the train ride from Paris to Versailles, we chatted about U2
, The Saw Doctors, Black 47, Dropkick Murphys, and every Irish band and I've ever heard. Upon our arrival, the conversation quickly changed to the vineyards of France and the joys of a chilled bottle of wine with a baguette and a perfect companion, cheese. This in turn led to enjoying a picnic (with all of the above on the menu) on the grounds of Versailles.
The "offseason" is when most of the planning takes place for us. (Photo: Pembrooke Fine Landscapes)
Everywhere we looked, we found magnificence and gorgeous symmetry. There was nothing random about the beauty of the compound. Nature creates random beauty, mere mortals have to design and build. Back in the States, careful planning isn't a lost art for many in our area.
For top landscaper designers/builders, the actual construction process is very exacting and precise. (Photo: Pembrooke Fine Landscapes)
Each day, back in the Hamptons, we work with trees, plants, outdoor kitchens, swimming pools, pergolas, pavilions, and beautiful settings; we help bring to life the visions of the kings and queens of their "castles." The Hamptons castles may be relatively modest in nature, or they may be quite opulent; but in every case, the well thought out plans for a fully landscaped backyard become the gardens of Versailles for that homeowner.
The gardens and palace of Versailles in 1746, by the abbot Delagrive.
For top landscaper designers/builders, the actual construction process is very exacting and precise. However, the brainstorming that goes into the design phase is perhaps the most satisfying for me. The creative process with the client that leads to a vision that will soon become an extension of their home for years to come is exhilarating.
Nature creates random beauty, mere mortals have to design and build. (Photo: Pembrooke Fine Landscapes)
The "offseason" is when most of the planning takes place for us and the winter can be a busy time for those who can visualize something special for next summer. With a tip of the chapeau to those who came before us, we are lucky to carry on the tradition of transforming homes through landscape and construction. And to our friend Patrick, the Irish tour guide in the heart of France, "I'll see you again when the stars fall from the sky, and the moon has turned red over One Tree Hill."
Note: This article was written the day before the horrific attacks in Paris. I withheld it from publication for a while and then reconsidered. I've been to Paris twice in the last couple of years and the trips were beautiful, romantic, and almost dreamlike. I know that I will return soon and experience much more of what our friends in France have to offer and have more stories to tell to add to our day at Versailles.
Chris Hall is a partner at Pembrooke Fine Landscapes. He has been a luxury gunite pool and landscape consultant for over thirty years and shares his observations and advice each month on Hamptons.com. www.pembrookefinelandscapes.com