billionaires garden

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by GreenGirl, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. GreenGirl

    GreenGirl Member

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    Just wanted to share with everyone what is possible if you have unlimited amounts of money to spen on what you want.

    I accompanied my friend to a party this weekend at the property of a billionaire (wont mention names to protect their privacy). My friend works as ONE of the gardeners. They have one of the most amazing gardens I have ever seen. They have a whole bunch of tropical plants growing outside. This is in Calgary where winters can be quite long and cold. The garden is kept heated in the winter with solar panels that heat water. The water is then transported around the garden. There is snow cover but the plants survive over winter. They even have a fig tree which is kept inside an area that is heated to 25 degres celcius all year long. The garden is enhanced with stone steps and a pond with a fountain. I wish I could describe it in more detail. Believe me when I say it absolutly amazing. They also have two greenhouses full of stuff, including pineapples!


    The sad part about this is that my friend told me no one ever goes into the garden to enjoy. What a waste!! At least my friend and the other gardeners get to enjoy taking care of it.

    So heres a question: If you had unlimited amounts of money - what kind of garden would you have?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    One that other people would come to see, enjoy and learn from, both with and without me (I would endow it so it carried on after I was out of the picture).

    Spending piles of money for one's own private amusement isn't good for much to anyone else, except for the economic activity it generates.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd buy a large area of endangered natural species-rich conifer forest, somewhere like the mountains of Mexico, and get it fully protected as a reserve to stop any felling, etc.
     
  4. Puddleton

    Puddleton Active Member 10 Years

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    sorry for throwing this topic on another tangent but ornamental horticulture relies on benevolent millionaires as much as it relies on botanic gardens. Take the Rothschilds for example. I work for many millionaires who are private sensitive people. most of them never open their gardens as they dont want their sanctuary invaded.
    Most the time, these mindblowing piecs of art become open once the initial owner dies.
    If I had the $$$, I think I'd settle for Kew gardens.
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If I had an unlimited amount with no restrictions other than that it be used somehow for plants, I'd do something similar to Michael F, though I'd be hard-pressed to decide which biodiversity hotspot to help preserve.

    If it had to be spent on a garden, though, well, my answer for that is pretty self-evident. I'd like to see UBC BG have better ability to continue its mission - I think there is a great backbone, and so many possibilities for conservation, research, education and amenity that we just can't touch because of funding. But hey, it's the same story almost everywhere, so we do what we can.
     
  6. digital flower

    digital flower Member

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    I have been designing and building a billionaires garden for the last 20 years. It is really just economies of scale. Not too many people even see this garden but it is the people's backyard. They don't even spend the summer at the house. I agree with the fact these type of people contribute greatly to the horticulture industry. Like I say, "Thank god there are people like them so there can be people like me." It's a relationship that goes way back in history. A lot of the great botanical gardens in this area were formerly estate gardens. I hope the garden I'm working on can someday become public but right now it is a secert garden and only the staff, a few friends and family ever get too see it.
    Lookingdownubc.jpg

    This is part of the six acres of gardens. There are over 80 varieties of Rhododendron, 50+ types of Ilex, 30+ cultivars of Japanese Maples, a dwarf conifer collection and many more rare plants. It's all cataloged (over 2,000 entries) and signed.
     
  7. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Let's see, If I were a billionaire, would I spend my money on toys and sports teams or... . How about a future legacy? Hmmm...
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  8. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Buy a few thousand acres, build a few acres of greenhouse, employ an army of workers, set up a seed bank, and build up the greatest collection of plants mankind has ever seen. That will include combining Wisley RHS and Kew, purchase all their greenhouses, and take over the Eden Project's biodome.

    And, oh, yes. Set up the first greenhouse on the moon as well.

    Oh, okay. Forget it. I will just have a one acre tranquil Japanese garden and donate the rest of the money to procure world peace and eliminate famine and disease.
     

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