Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pavers, Tiles and Fountains: Mediterranean Gardens and Courtyards

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
Dating as far back as ancient Greece and Rome, these garden/courtyard areas were common amongst both the wealthy palaces as well as the smaller village homes. They were open to the sky and fresh air, adorned with luscious plant-life, sculpture, decorative masonry, and a fountain or pool.

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
Texture and color are important elements, as well as the notion of secluding oneself from the rest of the world. Paving for seating areas and walkways could vary from gravel, stone, and concrete, providing it offered practicality, as well as splashes of color and variance in texture.

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
The Getty Villa of Los Angeles has been reconstructed after an ancient Roman style villa.  Their east garden offers an exquisite example of a fountain focal point, adorned with indigenous plant life and secluded from other sections of the property.
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
A mosaic could be created using smaller, brightly colored stones, tiles, and gravel.

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
Let your creativity soar when designing your dreamy and inviting outdoor spaces. Avente Tile has a plethora of options in colors and textures to manifest your design idea!

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