One of the best parts of planning a new landscape design is digging through photos of gardens from all over the world – or even visiting them – to find the perfect blend of elements and styles for your property. Of course, with an array of timeless landscape design features, historic gardens are some of the best sources for garden inspiration. In continuation of our series on historic sources of landscape design inspiration, today we’ll take a look at the Palácio de Fronteira, Villa Gamberaia and the Gardens of Historic Charleston.
Palácio de Fronteira
Along with the palace, the grand formal gardens at the Palácio de Fronteira were created in the 17th century for the first Marquess of Fronteira, whose descendant – the current Marquess – still resides there today. The gardens of the Palácio de Fronteira have been called “stunning,” not just for their classic formal layout and design. The utilization of azulejos – colorful blue tiles – by Portuguese garden designers in place of masonry, makes a wonderful backdrop and juxtaposition of color. When viewed up close, the azulejos tiles depict scenes of battles, hunts and religious images.
Because of excellent design and form, the gardens of the Villa Gamberaia are not only enjoyed by gardening enthusiasts, but they’re also officially studied by gardening professionals. Begun in the 17th century with the building of the Villa, each owner over the centuries has made additions to the gardens and – remarkably – improved upon the design. With manicured yew hedges, statuary, multi-level walkways and staircases, water features and garden rooms, the gardens at the Villa Gamberaia are very near to perfection in the Italian style.
The Gardens of Historic Charleston
Unlike the previous two garden settings, the gardens of Charleston, South Carolina, are directly adjacent to private homes located in the center of Historic Charleston. Existing behind high walls, in the shadow of two- and three-story homes, these “shade gardens” make use of bright azaleas and hydrangeas in spring and colorful shade loving annuals in summer and fall. Charleston’s gardens are notable for their small size, as well as their balanced scale and proportion to hedges, plants and statuary. Common elements are brick walls, walkways, plus iron gates and fountains.
Which historic gardens do you look to for landscape design inspiration? Share with us in a comment below.
Are you ready to incorporate design inspiration from a historic garden into a master plan or tune up for your landscape? Contact Dargan Landscape Architects for a consultation. Hugh and Mary Palmer Dargan and the rest of our team are ready to speak with you and share how we can help plan your new garden oasis.