Creating beautiful spaces for discerning clients
ITALY - Villa Sassella
These gardens are on a hillside near Lucca in Tuscany.† I took them over in Spring 1995 in the very early stages of their development - before the first plants were specified.†† The client brief was passed on to me as - ďitís got to look good in August and no red HibiscusĒ.† A few lines scribbled on sheets of A4 in lieu of a plan and a few rather vague photos were all I had to go by.
Some groundwork had begun before my arrival, accompanied by 2,000+ plants.† I was welcomed by the local workforce with slight astonishment, lady gardeners being a rarity in Italy.† I spoke no Italian and had never visited the site before.† Luckily gardening (and Latin plant names) helped as our mutual language and for everything else† we used my poor school Spanish, even worse French and lots of drawing diagrams in the mud accompanied by mime!† Once we got to work and I was as muddy as them .... well I became Pianti Donna - thatís what it sounded like to me anyway - it means Plant Lady!
The client and I worked closely for the next nine years with a shared vision of what we were hoping to achieve. A garden that sat comfortably within its landscape that would eventually require just the occasional tweek rather than a rigid regime of ongoing care and maintenance.
On the following pages are photos of the gardens at various stages in their development grouped into their respective areas.† Some are complete stand-alone gardens, others are planted areas, all interlink and/or flow together. For work schedule purposes there were around 30 of these areas.† The total site is approximately 60 acres
The house and its gardens have been a successful
destination since 2004 for charity auction winners from the US and Europe.
The house and its gardens have been a successful destination since 2004 for charity auction winners from the US and Europe.
Oh and I do now speak Italian .... as long as itís related to gardens, plants, restaurants or supermarkets and nobody is too concerned about my lack of grammar.
REST AND VIEW TERRACE
TENNIS SIDE + FORECOURT