Charles Deering (along with Paul Chalfin) chose the Italian style for his Miami estate, Vizcaya. The mediterranean style is well matched to the southern Florida climate but many of the plants had to be replaced with heartier stock. The use of local plants in a foreign Italian manner fit the house itself, which was a mixture of styles from different time periods. This all was very zeitgeist as the grand estates of the time mixed styles with abandon (an affect I personally love). The garden just south of the house was used as the main garden, seen to the right of the house in the map above. Florida, as a general rule, is incredibly flat and this site was no exception.To counteract that, Suarez had an artificial terraced hill created at the end of a long pool of water that also would create some shade so one could view the garden from the house without glare (so smart!).

The garden is walled in and on either side of the house, the walls hide service spaces (to the left of the house, where one enters the garden today) and a 'secret' garden meant for the display of Orchids seen above (on the right of the house labled as #18 on the map)The long pool has an island (#8 on the map) which is really spectacular -imagine having a party there!Fountains in the pool keep it from getting stagnant and attracting pests. Notice the spanish moss in the surrounding trees.Urns of the local coral limestone surround the pool and are filled with decorative native plantings.Boxwoods, seen below, also do well in the climate and are used to create green walls.The mix of colors is so gorgeous, my photographs don't capture it quite well enough as in person; The blue sky, the pink house, the red roof, the yellow garden walls and the lush greenery are almost sensory overload at the same time as feeling incredibly tranquil.The walls surrounding the Semi-Circular pools (#9 on the map) must have been rebuilt at some point as the construction looks much more modern, and in the dark pink color we saw earlier.They also house some gazebos with iron railings of dubious construction which don't exactly match the quality of the other work, seen above. Yes, thats the same photoshoot that we saw in the entry garden! Green and yellow -one of my favorite color combinations.The walls surrounding the artificial mound are covered in statuary and are of deep coral pink stucco.Notice the party lights hanging in the oaks around the pool!The central staircase has terracotta pots, similar to the ones in Deering's time.The stairs are flanked by grottos in the Italian manner. A caryatid and telamon support the archway. What a great spot to take shelter from the rain or to relax.Each has a fountain and long bench along the wall. Notice the shells which decorate the ceiling, a great detail!
The terracing up to the mound is really beautiful; I love the combination of materials and stucco colors.I could have sat here all day long, the most incredible gardens.
The terracing continues behind the mound as well, where there are also some obelisks.I'd be smiling too if this was where I lived, like this happy bust. The stairs on the sides of the mound have tracks up the center for the gardener's wheelbarrows.
Gates seperate the garden from the other areas of the estate. Across the street was the whole farm village (like many of the golden age estates, this was a somewhat self-sustaining estate) which now house administrative offices and we were unable to see.More of the gardens tomorrow, you won't want to miss it!