Garden of villa Il Martello, Fiesole (Firenze)

The garden is developed around an old farmhouse and retains ancient olive trees.

For his inspiration here, Porcinai reaches beyond the agricultural landscape to the native plant association of uncultivated land – the Mediterranean maquis. A study of the maquis reveals the “happy marriages” among plants, but the occasion is not to be copied: plant materials, like building materials, must gain new life in the hands of the landscape architect.
One enters the house from a narrow road screened by a high hedge of holm oaks. Beside the house, a terrace provides a setting for the owner’s collections of antique marbles and for outdoor dining. A path of stepping stones set in grass leads down between banks of germander (Teucrium fruticans) and lavender into the olive grove. There, the terraces are separated by banks of fragrant shrubs, gray foliage contrasts with the bright carpet of grass. This is no longer the podere of a peasant farmer, but the garden possesses a rural charm. One is surprised, therefore, to find hidden within the grove, on a terrace of terracotta, a swimming pool with a view of Florence.

(Ph.: © Paola Porcinai)

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