When you think about an Italian estate, what do you picture? Probably something like this residential landscape treatment in Nashville by Page|Duke Landscape Architects. Statuary of Caesar — and other Roman-style dignitaries — hold pride of place in the garden, as does other stone work. But equally important — more so, in fact — than any statues or walls are what they surround…and what grows on them. The picture of this house in pale sunlight shows a clean, well-manicured façade with sculpted greenery kept discreetly low so as not to block the view through the elegant multi-paned windows. But look around the side of the house, and you’ll see an advance of “green” that stretches to the second story. A tall, narrow tree decorates a corner; ivy trails in glad exuberance clear to a round ornamental window.
Surprising fountains grace some of the statuary at the end of neatly geometric cobblestoned paths, and every bit of this greenery is trimmed and trained with tender loving care — even the outbuildings have trees and vines clinging to their brick walls. Tucked between statues and pillars along one walk are lush blue hydrangeas; a pillared portico helps bridge the gap between garden “rooms.” No doubt one of the favorite places for the owners to gather with friends and family is the al fresco area just past a set of French doors — chairs of wrought iron and white cushions harmonize with casual white umbrellas, colorful pots of flowers, and stately trees. Whether by day or night, this magnificent garden is full of cool shade, fragrant blossoms, and an air of tranquility that epitomizes the laid-back spirit of the Italy it so vividly recalls.