The U.K.’s Covid-19 lockdown, which has forced the majority of the nation to stay at home, has sent interest in homes with gardens soaring.
According to Edward de Mallet Morgan of Knight Frank, the lockdown has given people a fresh appreciation for outdoor space. “It’s not a surprise that we’re seeing clients both in rural and city locations requesting more garden space–and the more of it, the better,” he said.
In the second home market in rural areas–the bigger the garden, the greater the interest, de Mallet Morgan said. “In city areas–where outdoor space comes at a premium or where there is limited space for a garden–people are willing to look beyond their desired location to get that extra space,” he said.
For those lucky enough to have one, spending time in the garden has helped many people get through these challenging times. Beneficial to physical and mental health, gardens have provided not only an escape from being indoors but also space for playing and exercising and for relaxing and spending time with nature.
De Mallet Morgan notes that with the trend for remote working and for people spending more time at home–now more popular due to the coronavirus pandemic–in addition to people caring more about their health and the need to be more active, it seems likely that garden usage is set to grow.
With that in mind, here are three homes in the U.K. and beyond that are guaranteed to inspire a future garden makeover, whether you’re looking to move or are staying put.
MOUGINS, ALPES-MARITIME, FRANCE, $56 MILLION
On the edge of Mougins village, four miles inland from Cannes, this Provençale-style period chateau is a French Riviera fantasy home.
Featured in its 27 acres of grounds are fairytale manicured formal gardens, with clipped hedging, fragrant lavender fields, and many cypress trees, rose bushes, and water features, which make exploring them an adventure, according to its sales details.
Inspired by Provençal and Italianate gardens, the gardens were designed by the owner–working with the renowned French landscape architect Jean Mus–to “create a blend of natural and formal symmetry that changes color with the seasons.”
Named Manoir de Pigranel, the refurbished and restored stone house has an 18th-century Burgundy limestone flooring, a professional kitchen, a double-aspect library and 18th-century stone fireplaces, and a wine cellar, according to its sales details. The top-floor bedrooms, meanwhile, have distant views of the Mediterranean Sea.
A 15-minute drive from Cannes, the 9-bedroom house has a huge stone terrace, offering long views across its gardens and Mougins and the Massif de l’Esterel mountain range beyond. The hilltop village of Mougins has forest surroundings and has attracted many artists including Pablo Picasso who lived there on his estate for the last decade of his life.
MEONSTOKE, HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND, $11.3 MILLION
This Grade II listed Georgian home–known as Meonstoke House–has 34 acres of pristine formal gardens and grounds with extensive river frontage on the River Meon, which runs through the land.
To the rear of the 8-bedroom village house is a full-length rear terrace, two levels of immaculate lawns, central staircases, and a further terrace, all of which are enhanced by topiary trees and clipped hedges, according to its photos.
To one side of the 18th-century home lies enclosed gardens including a part-walled formal garden, a synthetic lawn tennis court, and a part-walled productive kitchen garden, according to its sales details.
Set within the grounds, there is a lake and the River Meon, which offers single and double riverbank frontage with fishing rights and clean swimming waters. The house lies in the Meon Valley in the South Downs chalk hills, 12 miles from the city of Winchester.
COBHAM, SURREY, ENGLAND, $6.8 MILLION
Set 17 miles southwest of London in 15 acres of gardens and grounds, with stables and paddocks, this seven-bedroom Regency-era house offers a slice of country life and an easy commute to the capital.
Expertly created and well looked after, the property’s gardens include a part-walled garden with story-book looks and paths that meander through multi-level, colorful, and densely planted beds.
Elsewhere, there is a pool, tennis/basketball court, a boules court, stables, paddocks, and a croquet lawn as well as many seating areas and long-living trees, including a tulip tree, which is part of the magnolia family.