United States of America, Florida, Palm Beach, Palm Beach
Casa del Mirasol (Palm Beach, Florida)
The tropical garden on this one and one-half acre property has a red-painted bridge, pagoda, door, bench swing and decorative pagoda-shaped lanterns, some of the features thought to have come from the Chinese garden of another Palm Beach property. In earlier times there were streams and waterfalls, now replaced with gray river rock. Coquina stone is used for the walkways throughout the garden which is entered through a decorative iron gate under an arch wrapped in confederate jasmine vine. Red bougainvillea covers one wall of the houses, and pink bougainvillea, pink tinged dracaena, and white pentas are color accents that complement the red theme of the garden. A coconut palm allée borders the decorative brickwork driveway; other varieties of palm planted in the garden include king sago, lady palm, fishtail, cataract, and Chinese fan palm. One black olive tree has been clipped into a topiary form and another hosts a staghorn fern. Other trees and shrubs in this structured garden include schefflera and viburnum hedges, bamboos, leea rubra, topiary Eugenia, cassia, and screw pine. Jasmine minima is used as a ground cover plant throughout the garden and giant mondo grass is the ground cover under the driveway palms.
The house was designed in 1938 by Palm Beach architect John L. Volk but no records exist from another designer for the garden, nor have any original plans been found. The property was larger, reduced to its current size circa 1990, and it is presumed that the original garden that was designed by Volk was reconfigured too.
Persons associated with the garden include C.D. Strout (former owner, 1938-1951); Peter A.B. Widener III (former owner, 1951-1952); Horace Dodge and Anna Thompson Dodge (former owners, 1956-1961); Mr. and Mrs. Homer Marshman (former owners, 1961-1977); Arthur D. and Tova Leidesdorf ( former owners, 1977-1995); Mr. and Mrs. Howard Long (former owners, 1995-2000); John L. Volk (1901-1984) (architect, 1938).
The file includes worksheets.
This property is featured in John L. Volk Palm Beach Architect by Susan St. Alban and Jane Volk, 2001