It is a warm summer evening in the south of Italy and the garden beckons for company. The extended sunshine hours have cultivated the blooming of wisteria, star jasmine, and roses climbing along the trellises and arbors. The courtyard focuses on a babbling fountain designed in exquisitely crafted, boldly colored tile and a seating area surfaced in clay pavers where friends and family congregate over a bottle of wine and plate of cheese and fruit.
|Getty Villa Outer Peristyle|
The gardens of the Mediterranean are idyllic and have inspired landscapes throughout various regions and throughout the centuries. These heavenly spaces were intended to be utilized, to be lived in; they were a common gathering area and therefore were designed with both function and aesthetics in mind. Seating was intimate with both companions and attractive vegetation. Fountains were placed on rock walls as well as created as centerpieces.
|Courtesy of Landscaping Network|
Emphasis was given to the pools and fountains and there was great variety in these designs. Even the smallest garden could utilize a free-standing basin of elaborate or simple detail. Old monasteries may be adorned with an antiqued cistern head or simple geometric shape. Stucco was a common material, although concrete could also be used.
|Getty Villa East Garden|
|Fountain Close Up on a Rainy Night|
There was no limit to the imagination for fountain designs, motifs, and materials used. One could utilize a wall structure with bold tile colors and statuary.
|Spanish Tile Fountain|
|Getty Villa Mosaic in East Garden|
The more elaborately-inclined could create pools large enough to wade in, should one desire on a hot summer's day.
|Cobalt Blue Pool - Courtesy Landscaping Network|