Create Your Dream Outdoor Sanctuary With These Tips From A Pro


Bougainvillea and palm trees a Palm Beach backyard

A garden as a status symbol? It’s a thing, says Miami landscape designer Fernando Wong, the mastermind behind many of the grand landscapes and covetable properties from South Florida to Southampton and beyond. Recently a star judge alongside Martha Stewart on HGTV’s Clipped, Wong shares what it takes to transform an outdoor space into a sanctuary.

Tips for an inviting alfresco space: Create a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors by using similar materials and fabrics. Comfort is crucial, so I always advise clients to have a fan installed overhead for air movement. There’s nothing more captivating than a canopy of palms and trees for shade and watching the light dance as the breeze catches the leaves. After the sun goes down, opt for candlelight in place of electricity to create a romantic ambience.

Trending: What’s been fascinating through the pandemic is the growing number of clients who are purchasing properties adjacent to their homes as tear-downs so they can expand their gardens and outdoor entertaining spaces. Our backyards have truly emerged as the new darling of our homes. It’s where we can escape to have a quiet conversation, unplug, and of course, entertain family and friends.

Wow-factor: A beautiful tree tucked into the corner or the center axis of the garden. It instantly adds visual interest and drama.

Up next: I’m excited about the landscaping for the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale. What we conceived so many years ago has finally materialized, and now the fun begins as we put plantings in.

Landscape designer Fernando Wong poses outdoor near a garden table and chairs