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Greystone Mansion & Gardens

Greystone Mansion & Gardens
Beverly Hills, California

This was one of this first gardens I visited when I began frequenting the LA area several years ago. It dazzled me then with its stately luxury, and it remains a essential stop on every trip. Perched in the hills of one of the most famous zip codes in the country, Greystone fits right in amongst the mansions of the ultra rich that surround it on all sides. But there is a gothic darkness and old-world charm that sets this property apart, making it the perfect location for the many movies and music videos that have filmed here. In fact, before the cameras started rolling, the drama began with a mysterious murder-suicide involving the heir of a major oil fortune for whom the house was built. All of this Hollywood glamour and mystery is reflected in the stunning English gardens that surround the estate and frame breathtaking views of Los Angeles in the distance.

The grand stone staircases in the Forecourt leading up to the Formal Garden set the opulent tone that carries throughout the gardens. The pristine grass leading up to the central fountain of the Formal Garden is so inviting but I could only gaze longingly from the walkways and benches along either side in order to respect the “Keep Off the Grass” signs. The most dramatic element of the gardens is the Cyprus Walk, a wide stone path between two rows of towering Italian cyprus trees (which only ever evokes for me an image of Mariah Cary running through it in a wedding dress in her 2005 music video for “We Belong Together”). The Overlook Terrace off the front of the mansion includes an elegant reflection pool with koi fish and water lilies. From here you can gaze down the grassy Front Slope and out over the city below, including a fantastic view of downtown LA. 

The Tudor Revival mansion is rather imposing with its gray limestone exterior that inspired the estate’s lofty title. Built for the son of wealthy oil tycoonEdward L. Doheny in 1928, the mansion was the most expensive home built in California at the time with no expense spared in its construction. Ned Doheny was infamously involved in a mysterious murder-suicide in his home by his close personal assistant that has only added to the allure of the old house.  The property was purchased by the city of Beverly Hills and opened as a public park in 1976.

Final Rating: Greystone may not boast the biggest gardens or the most landscaped acreage of some of the gardens in the vicinity, but it is simply overflowing with grandiosity and gothic charm. The perfectly designed Formal Garden & Cyprus Walk stand out as some of the most memorable garden settings I have seen anywhere. There is something so essentially Hollywood about this showy garden estate, which holds its historical place in the city of Beverly Hills. FOUR BLOOM RATING

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