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A Fantasy Garden in Tagaytay

See how a horticulturist transforms fertile land into a magical world

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Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon

Who hasn’t marveled at the plants and flowers in Tagaytay? The area’s cool weather and rich volcanic soil are the perfect ingredients for healthy and beautiful greenery. So it is no surprise that horticulturist Jan Imperio and his wife Marikit would relocate to this town that is more popular as a weekend escape.

The sprawling 3,000sqm plot of land was acquired in 1997, and is shared by Marikit’s other siblings. Originally, Jan wanted to sell plants here, but his work back then kept him mostly in Manila so he just focused on designing this garden. He relates that it was made primarily for his children, because he wanted them to have memories of playing and growing up in such a beautiful place.

Jan did not stick to formal landscaping and instead created a magical world filled with freeform plantings and whimsical garden décor. It begins with the family’s colorful house, with a seedling greenhouse behind it. Beyond this, the garden veers into different tableaux, including arched pathways, gazebos, and even an outdoor bathroom. You’ll be surprised that there are hardly any exotic plants here, mostly greenery that you can easily get at any landscaping store. “I use local plants but in a nice way, so hindi mukhang common,” Jan says.

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