Author : Owen Desiderio.
Publish : Saturday, January 28th, 2017 4:39 am.
In the early 1400s a scholar named Leonardo Bruni described Tuscany as 'a paradise whose beauty and joyful harmony are unparalleled anywhere in the world.' This Tuscan paradise grew out of the Renaissance, the age of the arts, amidst the gentle Mediterranean climate. Sun-drenched landscapes, drought-tolerant plants, sculpture, stone, paths and geometric hardscapes characterized the acclaimed gardens of Tuscany. The look and feel of the Tuscan garden can be re-created today wherever the climate permits and the designer has an eye for blending art with nature. Lay out your garden design with paved patios, paved or graveled paths and shade pavilions. Tuscan garden design relies upon pavement, rather than grassy areas, to provide outdoor living spaces. Shade pavilions -- paved, ground-level shelters -- offer water-wise alternatives to trees. Connect outdoor living spaces and buildings with hardscape paths. Include a water feature in your Tuscan garden. Fountains are particularly prominent in Italian garden design, adding the element of sound for additional sensual appeal. Use statuary as focal points or minor design elements. From the Renaissance Period, a deep appreciation for sculptures led to the inclusion of these works of art in outdoor decor. Place terra cotta urns or pots among groupings of plants and other design elements to enhance the blend of art with nature. Grow Mediterranean plants such as rosemary, lavender, salvias, thyme and olive trees. The soft gray-green foliage of many of the Mediterranean plants blends well with natural paving and stoneware materials. Include in-ground plants and potted plants in groupings. Accent the garden with a few brightly colored flowering plants, such as California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) or red hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.). Borrow a view from beyond your garden. When possible, include access to a borrowed view, such as an expanse of hills or a grove of trees, a stream or a pond. The use of a borrowed view makes a small space seem larger and adds visual interest to the garden design. Plant Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) whenever practical to add that 'Old World' romance to your Tuscan garden. Drought-tolerant Italian cypress grows in a columnar form, making it possible to fit it into a relatively small space. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 10, Italian cypress thrives in acidic to neutral soil and tolerates salt spray. (homeguides.sfgate.com).
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