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Tuscan Landscape Style Guide

Use this design sheet to help you create the perfect Tuscan landscape. You'll get ideas for color, décor, materials, plants and fabric. It is a great starting point for any landscaping project.

Tuscan Landscape Style Guide (PDF)

View all Landscape Design Style Guides

The gardens throughout Tuscany have been recognized for centuries for their impressive design. From the Medici gardens to small villas within the rolling Tuscan hills, the landscapes tell the story of their past. These gardens have inspired us for centuries, starting with the renaissance gardens that have transformed into their own identity throughout the Tuscan region of Italy.

Elements within Tuscan gardens:

  • Stonework including walls and paths
  • Mediterranean plant pallet
  • Boxed hedges
  • Terra cotta pots
  • Potted plants
  • Gravel
  • Fountains
  • Urns

The region not only in its past, but to this day is inhabited by people connected to the land through farming. Tuscan gardens are often surrounded or at least have a view of a vineyard or olive trees. If your climate allows, Incorporate citrus and potted herbs throughout your design. The simple garden design is not over done but stands alone to speak volumes.

Common areas within a Tuscan garden:

  1. Arbors/Pergolas- Are often set within the Mediterranean plants as an area for relaxation individually or with a group. It’s best to place this seating area in the location with the greatest view of your landscape.
  2. Benches/Individual chairs- In Tuscan gardens there are often unique styled benches and chairs spread throughout the garden offering nice area to rest and relax, or even read a book.
  3. Labyrinths (known as mazes) - Are great if you have a large open area within your garden. These areas are great for children, and were often used for meditation walks to the garden owner.
  4. Herb/Vegetable gardens- As mentioned above, Tuscany is heavily involved and connected to the land through farming. In nearly every Tuscan garden there is designated space for an herb and vegetable garden. The produce is important to the household and the delicious Italian kitchen.

Tuscan gardens tend to be formal near the residence and as they extend into the landscape become more informal. The landscaping around the home requires much more maintenance than the olive orchard, or wildflower pasture in the distance. Don’t think that everything in your Tuscan garden has to look perfectly maintained, let the plants grow in their natural habit which will give your garden more of a natural characteristic.

One of the most respected values of a Tuscan garden is that they are sustainable. It is very rare to see a large lawn area and other plants that require an immense amount of water to keep alive. Consider your location and this will determine many elements within your garden, such as the plant palette. Tuscan gardens often use natives and plants that are suited to their climate. This means that plants thrive in the area with little water and maintenance, because plants are encouraged to grow in their natural growth habit, this reduces maintenance. Saving water and oil from the maintenance equipment, these gardens are not only breathtaking; they’re sustainable.

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