MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Vizcaya Estate and Gardens is one of South Florida’s most iconic and spectacular properties. It is both grand and breathtaking, but maintaining it isn’t easy.

It takes a large team and a lot of sweat.

In this job swap, CBS4’s Walter Makaula does it all as a groundskeeper for the day. David Hardy is the man responsible for the maintenance of the beautiful gardens and plants both indoors and outdoors at Vizcaya.

It’s a big job.  The gardens are spread out over ten acres and they are immaculate.

The property is so large Makaula and Hardy have to drive to each location. The first stop was at the main house where Makaula gets a feel of what it was like to live in this Italian renaissance mansion as a member of the help. He starts in the courtyard with some spraying to control the unwanted bugs. Each month, they use 10 gallons of a bug prevention solution on the inside of the house alone.

Words cannot describe seeing the outdoor gardens for the first time.

They are exquisite. Everything is perfect. Each tree, shrub and blade of grass is manicured to perfection. The grounds have to be that way all year round.

Many people have their wedding and quicenera photographs taken there.

Click Here to watch Walter Makaula’s job swap.

There are weeds everywhere and they all need to be pulled. Makuala is the lucky guy that gets to yank them out of the ground.  It’s a hot day and the temperature is in the mid 90’s.

Next stop are the casuarena pines flanking the stair case to the outdoor casino. They have to be perfectly shaped. The pines here are almost a hundred years old.

Next up, clean out the dead ferns in the grotto around the ponds so there’s enough room for the new ones to grow.

His last job for the day is to mow the lawn. You’d think the property would have a large lawn mower an operator can drive around. That’s not the case, Walter pushed a regular mower around cutting the grass on the sprawling estate.

At the end of the day, Walter was exhausted.

If you have an interesting job and want to swap jobs with Walter, send him an email to

For more information, including tours of Vizacaya Museum and Gardens, visit their website at



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