Creating an Italian Inspired Outdoor Space

Italian themed garden settings make beautiful, creative, and interesting outdoor landscapes. Sometimes, the task of creating an Italian garden may seem rather difficult, but by following some simple key tasks the process is quite simplified, allowing you to have a wonderfully exciting and enjoyable garden! Italian garden styles are becoming a fast growing craze throughout the entire world, intriguing people with their well laid out designs that are often creatively composed!

When it comes to actually designing an Italian style garden, it is best to study and understand the Italian theme first. These gardening trends have been handed down from generation to generation with their roots going back to many centuries ago. By understanding the principles, as well as your climate zone, you will be able to choose plants appropriately. One important part of the Italian garden is a shaded patio area, a place to sit back and relax, enjoy a morning cup of tea, or place to sit with a friend and a large family and have a nice conversation. This patio needs to be close to the house, so you can entertain with all the needed amenities close at hand.

How do you create this shaded area? You can add shade to your setting in a variety of ways. You can create a pagoda over your patio using wood and taught wire over the top, vines can then be trained to grow up the pagoda and wrap around the wires to create a shaded place that is also very beautiful. Using aromatic plants like rose vines, or jasmine brings a classical aesthetic while the added bonus of a lovely fragrance. By carefully training and caring for the plants, the pagoda should be well covered within a year. For the Italian themed garden you could also consider using strawberry vine, as it serves many purposes. It creates shade, it is very disease resistant, and it creates a sweet fragrance!

The key to finishing the look of your Italian garden is the correct flooring and pathways. An inexpensive flooring and pathway can be created by using travertine shards, or old and worn bricks mixed with washed gravel with a beige hue. This creates that wonderful country feel. Once the paths area established and your floor is complete, consider adding some furniture with an Italianate feel.  This allows for a relaxing place to sit. This will also help to accentuate the plants you choose to add.When it comes to adding plants to an Italian themed garden, boxwoods make a great feature for entrances by arranging them symmetrically. It is important to arrange plants geometrically, as this is the trademark of Italianate gardens. Shaded areas can be filled with plants like white hydrangea. If there is a nice and sunny spot in your setting, consider adding a lemon tree, a popular Italian tree. Other Mediterranean plants include Oleander, Cypress trees, Gardenia, and Vibernum tinus to name a few.

When looking to truly create an Italian garden you should include decorative containers or vases or even bowls filled with fruit to add style.  These can easily be placed atop patio tables or side tables for eating or just decoration.  One of the grandest styles of fountains is the Italianate.  No true outdoor space is an Italian garden with out the perfect water feature, this stems back to all of the wonderful public fountains that can be found in Italy. Coloring should reflect the style of the Mediterranean. Finally, remember that some of these plants are meant for the Mediterranean climates, and will need to be brought in for the winter in colder climates.
By: Susan Soler of the Team