The Villa Garzoni in Collodi, near Lucca, was the first Italian hillside garden we visited. Many gardens have impressed me: Het Loo, the Alcazar, Cordoba, the Reggio in Caserta, Tivoli… But this was the first, I think, to leave a lasting impression. I’m sorry I don’t have a better photo.
A well-designed and -maintained garden is a painting in space, usually on a strong drawing. It is architecture freed of the obligation to contain ,inviting the visitor to wander, now considering detail — color, texture, form — and now contemplating totality, the overall, changing, generally visceral rather than analytical impression of the garden’s statement as a whole.
And then the mediations: between detail and totality; between totality and Place, by which I mean both site (here carved out of “wild” setting, and facing paved streets and “development”) and historical position.
Much to consider, and where would you find a more tranquil spot in which to make the effort?