In the world of modern landscaping, Tuscany is a region in central Italy known for its beautiful natural landscapes. Lush foliage, olive and citrus trees, and an overarching simplistic aesthetic combine to form unique gardens perfect for relaxation. Many homeowners and DIY landscapers seek to re-create the Tuscan garden in other parts of the world. Though most regions may not be as mild or as nurturing to delicate flora as central Italy, landscapers can still create wonderful approximations of the Tuscan garden by following a few key principles.
One of the foundation aspects of Tuscan gardening is a precise balance of sun and shade. Citrus trees and other delicate blossoming plants require a high daily quota of sunlight. In order to relax in the garden without overheating, however, homeowners need shade. This complex balance calls for careful planning and plant selection. Italian standbys like cypress and oak trees will provide more than enough shade, but need to be located far enough away from fruit-bearing trees and bushes to allow the fruits to ripen properly. Shrubs are indispensable here, as they allow homeowners a greater degree of control over what regions of the garden receive shade. Shrubs also make excellent border plants and property markers for DIY landscapers interested in seclusion. Topiary—the art of pruning hedge bushes and other plants into shapes—is also a hallmark of the Tuscan garden. Though topiary requires a bit more maintenance than simply allowing hedge to grow unimpeded, the results can be absolutely gorgeous.
Re-creating the cloistered Tuscan look may be difficult for homeowners who have just purchased their property. New plantings need time for growth and coverage. A fully mature Tuscan garden is not attainable for years, which is why DIY landscapers must take the necessary precautions during the planning phase. Choose trees, shrubs, and flowers carefully, and be certain to factor in room for seating and hardscapes such as patios and pathways. If there are any existing structures on the land that could be utilized in landscape ornamentation, take full advantage. Older barns, sheds, and even outhouses can host a wonderful variety of climbing vines. Working existing structures into the landscape also helps to obscure the transition between the landscape and the structures themselves. Blurring this line makes for a more authentic Tuscan garden. If homeowners do not have pre-existing structures to work with, there are several kits and blueprints available online for DIY arbors and vine frameworks. Local plant nurseries and gardens may also have contact information for professional landscaping firms that keep construction teams on staff.
Tags: Tuscan, garden, landscape, homeowner, shrub, DIY