If you’ve ever dreamed of moving to Italy and trying your hand at restoring an old Italian villa-like something out of Under the Tuscan Sun, you’re not alone. It seems to be the fantasy of anybody looking to live the Dolce Vita.
Since it is not realistic for 99% of the people out there, then the next best thing is to try to recreate the look where you currently live.
You can start by transforming your garden into an Italian style one and live like an Italian in your backyard. Without the cost or frustrations of trying to do it in Italy! You don’t even have to know how to landscape like a pro to get it done.
With a little creativity and some features that make it feel like an Italian designed it, you can easily do it yourself. In this article, I will give you several ideas on how you can achieve this.
Add A Water Feature
In just about every Italian town or city, the thing that stands out is that there are fountains everywhere. And people love to be around water, so it stands to reason that you need to have a fountain in your garden if you want it to look at all Italian.
The fountain can be the centerpiece of your garden or play the part of a secondary feature to add some style to another part of the yard. Wherever you put it, it is sure to increase the Italian vibe by quite a bit.
It should look the part, though. A modern style fountain is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Something that has a bit of a patina on it and accents that look like a Renaissance-era fountain will work best. You can visit OutdoorFountainPros.com to get some inspiration as they have a variety of styles.
Pick A Region
There are different regions with different cultures and styles in Italy. For instance, Sicily is the most Mediterranean of regions as it is an island right in the middle of the ancient sea. It is a hot area with lots of palm trees and citrus that give it a bright appeal.
Tuscany is the hot area design-wise these days that have a more Continental look to it with more rolling landscapes dotted with Cyprus trees and lush green areas.
Whichever is more suited to your style, dreams are going to play a part. And not only that, but your climate is also going to decide which is best. If you live in New England with long winters and lots of rain and snow, then the Sicilian look is probably not going to work well.
An alpine style with wood and stone will look perfectly natural, however. If you live in sunny Florida, then you can certainly get away with a more Mediterranean feel and can even plant the right types of plants to increase the mood.
One feature that is almost universal in Italy is the use of arbors in their gardens. They are usually used with grapevines to give a bit of shade and have an interesting style all year round even when the vines are bare.
Any type of vine works, so you are free to use a variety that will grow well wherever you live. It can even be a pergola to sit under and use the vines as a natural roof for some cool shade.
Or, it can be a gateway into the yard that runs along a path for an interesting and elegant way to enter the garden.
Try Terra Cotta
Terracotta just oozes with Italian charm. And it is versatile in many different uses.
It is most popular as planters in a variety of sizes. There is a large amphora style terracotta that can be used for plants of all sizes even up to small trees. Or, if you want something more stylish, you can go for majolica style colored terracotta to add a splash of brightness to your garden.
You can also use terracotta tiles on the walls or to line your path.
In just about every Italian garden you’ll find fruit trees. The variety will be determined by geography. If you live in the South, then you can certainly add some citrus trees to add coolness to the garden as they absorb lots of heat and emit cool air under their shade.
Up North, plant some plum or apple trees and enjoy the fruit in the late summer and fall as well as adding lots of shade.