Secret garden in the Tuscan Hills
A partly walled garden with contemporary formal layout
This garden, which pertains to a recently restored country residence, lies on the opposite side of the country road, below street level. Invisible from the street, it offers a magnificent views of the hills near Bagno a Ripoli, Florence, and the tall wall backing it makes it a sun-trap sheltered by winds, but very hot in summer. The space has been redesigned along the formal symmetrical lines suitable to the classic Tuscan setting, brought up to date with mixed borders with roses, grasses and perennials, surrounding a lawn set off by paved edge in local 'pietra serena'. A small pergola with climbers create a shady seating area. A row of Linden trees gives summer shade and privacy from onlookers, cherries provide spring blossom and early summer fruit and add some shade to the seating area. At one end of the lawn is a bench, backed by evergreen hedge, flanked by two cypress trees which lead the eye to focal points in the landscape beyond. The garden is provided with storage for necessary maintenance equipment, including a robot lawnmower suitable for the small perfect lawn, and is designed as an entertainment space princially in early summer and fall. Automatic irrigation will be necessary at the outset until plants are established, but planting is designed for drought tolerance, and over time most of the garden will become irrigation free except for the small lawn.
Note: the renderings shown here are my earliest attempts in Sketchup program - it shows!