Friday, April 16, 2010


A view upon entering the garden at the Villa Aurelia. This portion of the garden is full of color and draws us in to see what awaits us as we continue down this stone walk. Here the garden is designed to be blue and white with plants such as lavender, rosemary and convolvulus.

The garden at the Villa Aurelia was started in 1881 and continues today as part of the American Academy in Rome. The Villa Aurelia was given to the Academy in 1909. The Villa & garden are in the Janiculum (Gianicolo) , the highest place inside the walls of Rome. The formal garden is designed in a geometric plan, with paths leading to pools, arbors and hedge walled spaces. This is the water-lily fountain, at the central axis of the formal garden ,where benches invite us to sit and take time to really look at the structure of the garden and reflections in the pool.

We loved the way the terra cotta pot set into this square shape, flowers in the foreground and the view through to the building behind.

Here the sturdy palm is set against the lace like foliage of the trees overlooking the city of Rome.

There is a wall of roses in full bloom growing on the side of building painted yellow ochre. A lovely color combination.

This building reflects the renaissance and can be seen from the Secret Garden. The wall is draped in rosemary. This garden can be entered by a gate that opens through a tall hedge of bay laurel. The other side is bordered with a trellis covered with climbing roses. These roses were not in bloom today, perhaps on our next visit we will see those. This is a quiet spot where we spent time sketching.
The views over Rome from here are magnificent.

A view over Rome from the Villa Aurelia.
This is the highest place in Rome, and after a long day of walking around Rome, ending the day with a climb back up this hill....well, it is quite a trek! We have learned that there is a bus, perhaps we will try that tomorrow.

The long allee is delightful with only dappled light passing through arched laurel.

The scale of his plant is incredible. Here is James in the rock garden on the terraced front of the villa. Growing on these terraces are many types of succulents and herbs, as well as plants that we have not seen before. There is also a greenhouse filled with lemon trees that will soon be placed outdoors into the garden.

Design and sculptural beauty hold all the pieces of this garden together. The structure of this design lies in the trees, the pines,oaks and magnolias are breathtaking. The carefully shaped and pruned foliage in contrast to the unpruned is a visual treat and works beautifully.
This tree is in shadow, buttressed by the angular hedge and against the more distant trees and sky, a perfect composition.

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