Il Colle, my home garden

Testing the limits of drought tolerant mixed borders on a Tuscan hillside

view to house The garden began in 2011, when we moved here, and has never stopped developing. {image1} The main layout was fixed at the outset, soon after the land was cleared, but it has taken time for the lines to become evident as… Read on

Colourful borders and space to play in Tuscany

A garden for a growing family with colourful mixed borders, neat lawns, and a vegetable garden

mixed roses Set on a the side of a hill with views over the surrounding fields and woodlands, this is the home of a professional gardener, a busy doctor, and their three small children. {image1} The approach to the house is flanked… Read on

Renaissance Fortress garden on Tuscan island (part 2)

An army of plants brings the Fort's parade grounds back to life

piazza d'armi overhead On the North-west side of the fortress the huge Piazza d'armi, once the drill and parade grounds for the military garrison housed there, required a more formal layout. {image1} In keeping with its original military role, the area was kept open… Read on

Renaissance Fortress garden on Tuscan island (part 1)

The ramparts of a Renaissance fortress in Tuscany are framed by a garden of drought-tolerant and wind-proof plants

fortress view The location is unbeatable: a Renaissance fortress perched on top of the cliffs on an island in the Tuscan archipelago. {image1} The brief has been to frame it with gardens which have to be drought-tolerant, deal with considerable wind and require… Read on

Secret garden in the Tuscan Hills

A partly walled garden with contemporary formal layout

walled tuscan garden This garden, which pertains to a recently restored country residence, lies on the opposite side of the country road, below street level. {image1} Invisible from the street, it offers a magnificent views of the hills near Bagno a Ripoli, Florence, and… Read on

Corsican seafront garden

Setting a modernist villa in the corsican coastal environment - bridging between cultivated landscape and open seascape

corsica villa sketch plan I was contacted to design a garden for a large Villa in the final stages of completion, overlooking the coastline in the vicinity of Lumio, Northern Corsica.{image1} The client brief was to provide an entrance garden, framing the modernist façade… Read on

Green table in winter guise

The 'green table', centrepiece of the Orticolario 2013 garden, has been given a winter coat of white and replanted with shade-tolerant perennials for its new indoor location

variegated perennial planting in green table As promised, the table created for Orticolario will continue its life as a planted, green table. Its new guise has been celebrated by a few parties already, for which it was born. {image1} Actually, the 'green table' is now white,… Read on

Desco al Fresco Garden - Orticolario 2013

Topiaried specimen plants, shrubs with edible berries and a living table with a water rill in a Renaissance-inspired garden.

DAF veduta {image1} A garden's completion is always very exciting. 'Desco al Fresco', created for Orticolario 2013, was the realization of a dream: that of making a show garden that could really be built. A garden that could live beyond the days of the… Read on

Chelsea Flower Show 2013-The Sonic Pangea Garden

Press day and beyond - the Sonic Pangea garden is completed

pangea night view All that hard work has been worth it! By May the 19th, the garden is ready for the big day - Press day, when it will be scrutinized by the keenest eyes in the garden world. I'd have to pinch… Read on

Chelsea Flower Show 2013-The Sonic Pangea Garden in progress

Behind the scenes at Chelsea Flower Show - it takes a lot of hard work to turn a vision into reality

two cranes Chelsea Flower Show centennial -  Stefano Passerotti and I have made past the first 8 months of hurdles, and now we are actually at the showground. We have 10 days of buildup, but really the garden must be completed and… Read on

Roof garden in Casa Guidi

Unobstructed views over Florence and surroundings are framed by tall grasses and Mediterranean plants.

panoramic carmine {image1} On top of Casa Guidi, the famous Florence residence of Robert and Elizabeth Barret-Browning, is a spectacular roof terrace. The planting of the roof garden was designed to set off the landscape of Florence. The eye sweeps over the city… Read on

Orticolario 2012 - Giardino d’amor novo

My show garden composed of edible flowers and herb seats wins first prize at Orticolario 2012!

colour sketch orticolario Orticolario is a garden and plant show that takes place in October in Cernobbio, on Lake Como. I was invited to create a garden for the 2012 edition, in collaboration with Marco Carmazzi's nursery. My garden responds to the thoughts… Read on

Three borders for Giardino Torrigiani

The historical Torrigiani garden of Florence has undergone an ambitious renovation, restoring its historic greenhouses, and opening up part of the garden to the public for events and classes.

Border 1 Torrigiani Alongside the traditional activity of the plant nursery, the Torrigiani Garden will offer courses in gardening and garden history, cooking, flower arranging, and painting. {image1} The three rectangular borders were originally cold frames for the nursery, functional and marginal to the garden. They… Read on

Park Town Oxford

Back garden in Victorian Oxford brought back to life with asymmetric layout, mixed borders, entertainment and storage areas.

parktown herb border {image1} This garden behind a listed Victorian townhouse was a long strip of worn lawn, flanked by overgrown shrubs. Difficult to access, with no focal points and seating areas, the garden was undefined and uniniviting. The owners, an academic couple… Read on

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