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Italian Garden Design


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									                                              Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                                                       Italian Garden Design
                                                             By Jeff Halper

   A client in the Heights contracted Exterior Worlds to create an Italian garden with a number of
complimentary, classical elements to the front and rear of their home. Their house had a classic Old
World appearance to it. It was a two-story structure with a porch and an upstairs balcony. Steps led up
to the porch, and shuttered windows with arched tops lined both the porch and the balcony. A stately,
old, and very large oak tree grew just next to the house, reaching up and over the top of the house.
The architecture and indigenous landscape were an ideal setting to further develop a European look
and feel to the property.

 We began by installing lights in the trees next to the home in order to illuminate the roof and balcony,
and we placed lights under the eaves of the porch and patio to illuminate the surfaces, walls, and
windows. We planted a small Italian garden in the front near the trees. In it, we placed a variety of
ground cover plant species, shrubbery, and smaller, ornamental trees. This lent an organic sense to a
very symmetrical and elegant structure, and helped develop the Classical theme we were asked to
create. We completed the design in the front with urns placed on either side of the stairs that led up to
the front door. This worked to create a sense of grand entryway that alluded to a sense of Roman
antiquity and classical design.

 The home had been built toward the front of the lot, so the majority of the property lay behind the
house. This provided a great deal of room to develop an Italian garden with a number of functional and
aesthetic elements that fit the lifestyles of the owners. The first thing we designed for them was a
planter, shaped like a small wall, which surrounded the rear perimeter of the home. This provided a
casual seating area for the home owners that they use as an overlook point to appreciate the scenery
beyond. In the morning they could sit outside and watch the sunrise while they drank coffee and talked,
or comfortably recline while they read the paper.

 Just a few feet from this planter, we built a water fountain. We designed it as a rectangle to continue
the movement of the house, because all Italian gardens are intended to follow the linear movement of
architecture and maintain a sense of order and proportion throughout their continuity. Although the
fountain featured very simple and compact proportions, we made it look much more dramatic and
prominent by installing four water jets and 4 underwater lights to draw attention to it in the dark.

 Around the fountain we then laid down a paver patio using a blend of hardscape and softscape
paving. This blended construction made the patio appear to be fading into the grass, and caused the

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patio and surrounding gardens to look more classically Italian. The patio was surrounded by bull nose
coping and sloped slightly toward the planter walls, which were built with unseen, 1-inch drain channel
to provide a convenient and unobtrusive means of water runoff. We then filled the space around the
new patio and planter with an Italian garden featuring cypress and decorative handmade pottery.

 At the far end of the property, we completed our project with an arbor that functioned as a destination
for outdoor entertainment and a terminus for the Italian garden design. The garden arbor was built on a
limestone patio, and was constructed out of Permacast columns and a cedar top. We installed a ceiling
fan within the arbor, and decorated the patio with tables and chairs to provide a comfortable gathering
place for visiting guests.

 One very unique feature was also added to this arbor to complete its design. This final piece was a
mirror built to look like a window. Because the property bordered a commercial lot that had a rather
unattractive building on it, we wanted to create a sense of enclosure and provide a focal point that
would draw the eye away from the eyesore behind the arbor. A mirror proved much more useful for this
purpose, because it both blocked the view of the building, and it magnified the apparent size of the
Italian garden, fountain, planter, and rear of the home.

Jeff Halper is passionate for Landscape and wants to share infomation about that passion.

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                                                       Slow Down With Italian Words
                                                                By Shareen Aguilar

 The Italian language is among the Romance languages that is popularly studied and spoken by many
other speakers. Regardless of the native language of a person, learning how to study Italian is always
the first, second or third choice in language learning. This is because there are already many Italian
speakers in mainland US and apart from that, the Italian culture has clashed with that of the US just
fine. Eating spaghetti is an Italian custom, so while you're at it, why not complete what you need to
know about the Italian language itself.

Though we notice Italian speakers conversing in their native language in a fast pace, it doesn't mean
you have to do the same in each of your Italian exercises. It's not a problem though, in terms of
pronouncing Italian words since each syllable (similar to the Spanish language) is pronounced just as
how they appear. Any beginner can learn this part of the Italian language well. But there is a trick. Most
newbies usually consider speaking very fast since the native Italians that they hear in a normal
conversation has this trait. Don't be fooled any further, emphasize your consonants and vowels on
every Italian word you use if you want to be understood.

Italian food is scattered everywhere and are popular in the American market. If you get the chance, try
to read Italian ingredients, produce and beverages just as how an Italian native would read it. Read it
out loud, as if you are teaching yourself the best way to pronounce it. You will realize that this activity, if
done more so often, makes you comfortable in speaking the Italian language in public. When the right
time comes, when you are all prep up in speaking Italian with Italian speakers regardless you are in
your own country or in mainland Italy, you know that you are prepared and up for the exciting

Shareen Aguilar is a writer for Learn Italian http://www.learn-italian-program.com which has Memory
Improvement Books and Memory Game Software for better Italian language memorization.

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