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Italian gardens and ecology - by ecologica

The idea that most of us have of the typical Italian garden is that of formal hedging, parterres, long vistas and water features. Although this is a fair image, given the coverage that these aspects have received over the centuries, there is another side to Italian garden design that many of us have never even considered. The link between the farmer and his land has often been overlooked and yet holds the real key to the true Italian garden.

Italians have always had a very special connection with the land that provides their wonderful gastronomical diversity and they really really are the masters of fine quality produce. Italian garden design has been shaped both by the wondrous, formal, Rennaisance gardens and by the fantastic, yet humble, cuisine that has taken over the world. Italians have used their gardens as a resource for fresh Italian herbs, like sage, rosemary and thyme to medicinal herbs like fennel, lavender and wild-garlic to citrus fruits like oranges and lemons for centuries.

Italian gardens have been far more important as providers of health over the years than providers of beauty, however beauty has risen naturally from this harmonious relationship- in the shape of a magnificent farming culture and a resoect for the land second to none. In order to produce the very finest of culinary herbs and medicine, the Italians have always relied upon good ecology to ensure the quality of their produce and subsequently... their lives!

The Italian farmers relied upon respect for thir land to provide them with a bounty of varied produce of the very highest possible quality and the amazing wild flower meadows that exist to this day stand as testament to a life spent collecting healing and culinary delights from the land. As a garden designer, living and working in Italy for the past 13 years I have been studying and developing a garden design system that addresses this historical link with the land yet, at the same time, incorporates contemporary Italian design styles for the modern Italian home-buyer. By drawing upon ancient agricultural techniques, modern horticultural practises and lunar cycles one can create gardens, using similar gardening techniques to those adopted by the real Italian garden designers- the farmers.

The production of wild flower meadows is easy and by allowing nature to do what it does best- be itself- and by using the occasional modern plant addition, like the cultivated cypress tree we can create stunning beauty with soul and depth.

I have a very simple philosophy regarding modern, italian garden design.... that there really is nothing more modern than the past...!

See some examples at www.lifeinitaly.com/garden/tuscan-garden-designers.asp

I am an English landscape designer, I design ecological, Italian/Tuscan-style gardens that capture the very best of Italian nuances and consume very little water by using the ecologica system from my base in Siena, Tuscany. My gardens are based around sustaining indigenous ecosystems and providing an attractive visual harmony with nature and natural processes.I provide an inexpensive design service, see some examples at ...  http://www.lifeinitaly.com/garden/tuscan-garden-designers.asp  or at ... 


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