East Melbourne

Tivoli

The garden for a gorgeous Victorian house in East Melbourne was my first job I ever did with Stephen Akehurst Architects.  That’s why the inspiration for this garden came from one of the most iconic classical Italian gardens: Villa d’Este in Tivoli.

If you haven’t visited it yet, you are missing one of the most extraordinary gardens in the world. Tivoli is first an engineering masterpiece; it’s a garden built where a garden is not suppose to grow: a steep, sterile hill. The construction of a series of majestic walls made possible to create terraces and consequently a magnificent garden that influenced and still influence designer from all over the world.

In particular, the inspiration for the back garden was the famous Cento Fontane (the ‘Hundred fountains’): a water feature that displays 100 carved stone spouts. Obviously I didn’t have the space for 100 spouts, but I had enough space for placing two symmetrical water features with five spouts each and framed by Buxus hedge.

The back garden was surrounded by high walls that I wanted to hide completely by using Ficus repens. Because the space was limited, I kept the planting palette very simple and I used manly plants with small foliage like Buxus, Ficus, dwarf Hydrangeas etc.

For the front, a very small area, my clients just wanted a neat space where they could eventually have a drink at the end of the day of forget about their daily routine.