I was fortunate this week to take a tour of La Pietra, a fifteenth-century villa bequeathed to New York University by Sir Harold Acton. I wasn’t comfortable taking photos inside the villa, but did take some of the garden.
Our guide told us the garden is a recreation of a Renaissance garden. Such a garden is considered part of the house and arranged in ‘rooms.’ It is evergreen (symbolic of sovereignty) and variety is provided not by flowers, but by different shades of the same color, different textures, and the play of light.
According to our guide, three mistakes were made in this garden. 1) Pine trees are not typical, as they are too vertical. 2) Rambling flowers are not usually used. 3) The garden is too cluttered with statues (!).
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All images © Melissa Corcoran.