Most Americans look forward to owning their own little plot of land, a place to stake their claim to a slice of the American Dream, a lawn for the kids to play on, a patch of green to water and mow, a shade tree or two—maybe even a pool. And that will serve just fine for most folks, but when you exist on the rarefied plane of the shoe magnate, the Wall Street wizard, or the real estate tycoon, you need a little more. A quarter-acre plot just won't do; you need formal gardens, fountains, a lawn on which to entertain your friends or throw fund-raisers for politicians, a solarium, and a sculpture by one of America's most renowned artists. Here now, America's blockbuster properties, as seen through their elaborate grounds—500 rosebushes and all.
↑ The eight-acre grounds of California's Bradbury Estate have everything the discerning outdoorsy plutocrat could possibly ask for: a 350,000-gallon pool, a temperature-controlled pond stocked with rainbow trout and ducks, and nearly an acre of walkways, loggia, and decks. There's also a waterfall, a 15-person jacuzzi, and an eye-watering asking price of $78.8M.
↑ During it's 150 years of ownership by one family, the 47-acre DeGuigné Estate has attained the look and feel of an English country estate, with formal gardens, rolling lawns, and well-maintained semi-wild lands insulating the 16,000-square-foot Mediterranean manor from the outside world. Oh yeah, there's also a pool, which totally explains the $100M asking price.
↑ With graceful landscape architecture by Arabella Lennox-Boyd, the 25-acre grounds of the Crespi Hicks estate outside Dallas artfully minimize the mass of this absolutely gigantic Maurice Fatio design—no mean feat considering the house tops out at almost 29,000 square feet. Dense copses of trees, streams, footpaths, and formal gardens tastefully surround the home (which is asking a whopping $88M), with nary a grotto nor jacuzzi in sight.
↑ Dominating an 11-acre hilltop site, Montecito's Solana Estate offers 360-degree views of the mountains, Santa Barbara, and the Pacific Ocean from its perch. During its most recent renovation, the grounds were also redone, and now play host to 500 rose bushes and more than 200 varieties of fruit trees, ensuring the next owner of this $49M estate will have plenty of limes for their gin and tonics.
↑ Not all estate grounds are pseudo-English country spreads missing only flocks of sheep and a passel of unruly tenant farmers agitating for lower rents. The $12.5M Valley of the Moon estate goes in another direction entirely, employing James Turrell to create one of his signature sky spaces on the grounds, and basically just going all Post-Modern on the stunning Montana countryside.
↑ When Nine West founder Vincent Camuto bought Long Island's landmark Villa Maria estate in a 2005, he and his wife Louise undertook a major renovation of the home, with Edmund Hollander Landscape Architects handling the redesign of the 11-acre grounds. Besides creating a walled fountain garden, the architects also added a rose garden and a new dock to the 19th-century estate, which is back on the market for $69M.
↑ The Hamptons' Wooldon Estate also benefited from the high-flying Camuto's largesse, as the 15-acre spread underwent a renovation before the couple unloaded it for $75M in 2013. The beautiful grounds feature formal gardens, rolling lawns, tennis courts, and, of course, a private beach. The coolest feature of the estate, however, has to be the gazebo greenhouse.