Landscape & Hardscape Ideas, Lifestyle & Seasonal

That’s Amore – Your Own Tuscan Outdoor Living Space

In 2003, when Hollywood released “Under the Tuscan Sun”, Americans all over the country were suddenly re-decorating and bringing warm and woodsy earth tones and golden hued paint colors into their homes. The New-Old Outdoors This enduring trend continues today, bringing aged elegance to both to indoor and outdoor living spaces. With its old-world charm wood textures, stone walls and flooring, this nature inspired color palette resonates with men and women alike.

Who wouldn’t love a pizza oven in an airy outdoor kitchen? As this style has a fundamentally distressed and gently warn look, it’s a great fit for those with children or, “not so delicate” family members.  As practical as it is unpretentious, it denotes a relaxed atmosphere and can stand up to a hearty life style. You didn’t just ding the cabinet, you added character! Over the Hills

With rolling landscapes and vast vineyards, those with hillside property can easily incorporate a Tuscany style patio into their sloping outdoor space. Retaining walls, used to deter
erosion and avoid landslides, can be covered with cast stone in veneers such as Ledge Stone, Cut Stone, or River Rock, and are used to help create multi-layered living spaces that are great for both family and social lives. These walls will allow you to have flower or organic vegetable beds on property where you may have once thought it was impossible.

Curved and winding walls work best for this look, mimicking the rolling and graceful Tuscany landscape. Use lower (shorter) walls to provide extra seating for guests, while higher (taller) walls provide the perfect patio backdrop and bear resemblance to Tuscany’s narrow city street surroundings. Topping walls with ivy or other spilling foliage works to soften and warm the look; and creates instant drama. For added privacy along property lines, try planting arborvitae trees.

Members of the cypress family, these evergreen perennials grow in full to partial sun and can reach 200 feet in height. Made in the Shade, or Sun This is where pergolas shine their brightest. These overhead wooden structures were originally created for training climbing plants and vines.

Even if you’re not inclined to begin a home vineyard, there are lots of hardy and easy to care for climbing plants that add instant drama.  Wisteria, (which actually resembles grapes hanging from their vine) is an easy to grow perennial whose fragrance is used in perfumes worldwide.

Climbing roses, clematis, and morning glories grow quickly, produce hundreds of flowers and come in a full spectrum of colors. To add shade, hang baskets overhead with lush ferns or colorful geraniums. What not consider a fig tree? This fruit bearing Italian treat can now be purchased and grown in containers, and can be stored in an unheated garage over the winter months.

This look is sure to be enjoyed for many more years to come. Then invite your your family and friends over and say, “Ciao!”

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