Whether you’re a gardener who likes to stay abreast of the latest horticultural developments, a lover of all things Italian, or simply someone who enjoys an elegant environment, the latest trend of Italian-style gardens will appeal to you. At this time of year especially it’s a great idea to add a smattering of Tuscan warmth to a wintry landscape. Here, we’ve compiled five top tips for doing just that.
Italian gardens, full of both fresh and earthy scents, are a horticulturalist’s dream. Edible plants take centre stage; trailing grape vines, cheerful round-headed bay trees and gnarly olive groves all define the look. In the shorter term, and if the weather isn’t on your side, rosemary, fan palms and climbing jasmine can all add to the aesthetic.
We may not have the climate to grow the variety of plants available in the Mediterranean, but Italian garden furniture is one aspect of this look that doesn’t need the sunshine. Wrought iron tables and chairs for elegant outdoor dinner parties or alfresco coffee mornings, woven lazy chairs perfect for post-dinner drinks and conversation, and beautiful handcrafted stone benches will all lend your garden that Lake Garda feeling.
Warm patio materials
In an authentic Mediterranean-style garden, feeling the warmth underfoot is key. The heat of the sun permeates the tactile stone in Tuscany but here in the UK we can create a similarly sensuous effect with carefully chosen colours and quality materials. Sandstone, with its gentle fawn and dove grey colours and its soft finish, is a good choice that provides a lovely nod to Tuscan style.
Mediterranean feature pieces
Eye-catching objects, stunning water features and a sense of easy grace define the Italian-style garden. The pieces you choose and how you place them are down to your individual taste. Outsized terracotta urns, artfully weathered busts and statues, and charming sundials can all contribute to the look. If you want to go all out with your Tuscan look, you have the space and time to do it and find a more formal look to be appealing, why not cultivate a miniature topiary maze?
An Italian palate
Those familiar with Italian garden design, or even those who have simply visited the country and experienced its majesty, will know the importance of colour. The tones and hues of Tuscany, depending on the time of year, cover a full spectrum of glorious pigment – vivid greens, soft russets and the plummy colours of rolling vineyards should all be considered as you select your Italian garden’s palate.
The beauty of an Italian garden is that whether you go full throttle and invest every detail with a touch of Tuscany, or only add the most delicate hint of Italian style, it will work for years to come, rewarding you with Mediterranean pleasure each and every season.
Monday, 14th December 2015