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When our clients bought this property in the Tuscany countryside, the field encircling the house was planted with a poorly maintained Olive tree orchard. Our aim was toredesign the landscape to provide a functional and ornamental garden, whilst at the same time preserving some of the original orchard patterns to keep the plot strongly connected to the surrounding rural landscape. Sections of the land were prone to waterlogging and the climate in the area characterised by particularly wet Winters with frequent high winds and very hot, dry Summers. The brief included the addition of a pool, a vegetable garden with fruit trees, and hedges for privacy on all boundaries and to incorporation several of the client’s art pieces into the garden.
Some of the existing Olive trees were moved from their original position to break up the very rigid grid, giving place to some open areas that enhance the view from the house and pool. Densely planted borders surround the pool and layer the boundaries of the property, softening its edges and giving a sense of privacy whilst keeping the garden linked to the landscape. The areas next to the two loggias are more formal, one with a total white border with plentiful Hydrangea, Camellia, Anemone, and Hellebore plants welcoming into the property; the other leading to the vegetable garden through a generous kitchen herbs border, where raised beds for vegetables and cutting flowers are framed by two rows of fruit trees. A few thousand bulbs were planted, transforming the garden each spring.
The language of the garden is a mix of features typical of the rural landscape of the area, with soft gradients, wide lawns and organised rows of trees and hedges, and areas of densely planted ornamental perennials that echo more typically British borders. This double nature is also reflected in the choice of plants, which comprises of a palette of native, hardy Mediterranean shrubs and trees, but also includes less usual choices asa not to English cottage gardens.