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Italianate Garden

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We are at the Italianate garden at the Mass Horticulture Societies' headquarters at Elm Bank. This is a beautiful example of a formal manor garden from Italy. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and his firm back about 100 years ago. They've restored it back to the original design recently, including this beautiful 13th century Italianate baptismal fountain. It's all marble! The cool thing about this garden is that when you look at it from the manor house looking down, it looks like a carpet. It's called a carpet garden for that reason. It looks like a Persian carpet with the weaves and different colors you'd find in a carpet. It looks pretty nice from down here, too.

If you look at the flowers you can kind of get the idea with groups of cleome and dusty miller weaving in and out of the beds with the yews and other shrubs in between. Plus, there's the little heliotrope flowers. It creates the colors that you would see in a beautiful rug that you would lay out on your floor.

And that was the idea with these Italianate gardens; to create and outdoor room. It was the original outdoor garden room you might say.

So it looks like what you might decorate inside the house, but you create it all outside with flowers. It also has beech hedges going around it, a beautiful lawn and nice highlight trees here and there. They really add some accent to this garden.

~By Charlie Nardozzi

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