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  • Madison Cox

    FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS, Madison Cox has created hundreds of acres of enchanting gardens for dozens of clients in 10 countries, but his public profile is next to zero:

    This 54-year-old American garden designer is a legend in the making—often compared to the late, great British landscapist Russell Page—but you won't hear that from him. Unlike most high-end architects, decorators and garden designers, Cox would rather be shipwrecked than become a household name Today, as he works across continents, with offices in New York and Morocco, his clients include arts patrons, industrialists and philanthropists, including Sting and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. More than half of Cox's clients are knowledgeable, confident gardeners themselves, who understand that high-end garden design entails a lifetime commitment. They don't want a landscape that looks anything like anyone else's. Cox maintains that each fine garden "involves a particular point of view. All good gardens demand a lot of research and patience. Along the way, there will be amendments, detours and, sometimes, reversals. There is no such thing as a beautiful 'instant' garden. The best ones come together when there is real communication between a designer and a client. It's about trust, and it builds over time. I've collaborated with many of my clients for more than 15 years: One can develop a wonderful complicity getting to know each other season after season after season."

    Marella Agnelli, the widow of former Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, is one of the complicit. Some consider her Marrakech property, Ain Kassimou, the world's finest private garden of recent vintage.

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     Résidence privée, Westchester, USA , Madison Cox