italian farmhouse garden...please help
cossagirl
March 5, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We have a little walled garden on our farm with a raised terracotta terrace on one side & the loggia of the house on the other. I want to make this area into a beautiful outdoor room but need your suggestions please. The grass is a disaster due to dogs lazing/digging etc, so maybe paving of some kind with grass growing between?? There's existing stone and tiling all around though, so if we choose this it would need paving to tie in somehow. Also, any suggestions for terrace very welcome - but my husband won't let me re-tile just now. Thankyou!
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TanCalGal
Oh my! You already have a beautiful loggia and patio. Loggia: I love the combination of the tile and stones, roof, vine, hanging lanterns. What do you use the loggia for? If you only use this area for walking though then, remove the furniture. If you sit out here on occasion, think of painting the furniture black & instead of having the plants in pots scattered all about, arrange them into attractive plant groupings Newport Beach Project OR keep everything cleared away if not currently using the loggia Sullivan, Henry, Oggero and Associates, Inc. 1 ON outside of loggia plant a row of shrubs (or all rosemary or all lavender etc) all along the raised step on the lawn side http://www.houzz.com/stone-columns-exterior/p/28 THIS loggia is used for seating, too, just like yours although they should have plants in pots for charm. I like the decorative hats, baskets and hanging peppers but I would keep the columns cleared off and have one place (focal point) for the decorative items: all around the door on the far wall. HH1 SIMILAR to yours, too, don't forget doormats at doorways Sullivan, Henry, Oggero and Associates, Inc. 2 HERE's an idea for garden boots Maillardville Manor-Mudroom
The terra-cotta patio is beautiful. I would never re-tile. Some of the climbing vines have over grown and need to be pruned. I cannot see everything. I would let the dogs have the grass, you have the patio and loggia and that's enough. When we have animals we have to make allowances. Let the grass be their domain. Fill a large terra cotta dish for their water Hillside Medeterranean 02 (Design by Bernard Trainor & Associates)
March 6, 2012 at 3:40PM   
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TanCalGal
Continued Fill a large terra cotta dish for their water
You have lavender (or rosemary?) along the far wall. This is nice. Cut the plants back once a year (see below) and their growth will be better. Take wooden planters down from wall. Group pots on patio, do not have plants in pots spread out here and there. The stone bench is nice, place that on the patio? I like black wrought iron table and chairs (mine is round). How to prune lavender in italy http://www.livinginitaly.com/italian-lavender.htm
March 6, 2012 at 3:40PM   
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cossagirl
Thank you so much! So many great detailed suggestions....and here I was thinking no one would reply. The house is an old stone farmer's house on an olive farm. It was neglected badly for many years and for past year we've been fixing it up. The loggia is beautiful, it's used only as a walkway though due to the way it's been tiled. The white stones either side of the terracotta path look great but just collect lots of dirt that always seems to find it's way inside the house. If we removed these stones and pave the whole loggia with the cotta we could lunch there during summer when it's far too hot on the patio. I really dreamt of a lush lawn out there, and planted seed last year. Then 1 lovely (but pregnant) stray dog arrived, and now we have 7 wonderful dogs who prefer to play & laze on that grass - although they have the whole farm to explore. That's why I was thinking about using paving stones in some way
Stone Terrace with Chairs or Windsor Companies. Maybe it would all be to busy though? I love your idea about the large terracotta water bowl, that would double as a water feature too. And lastly, thanks for the link on the lavender, I planted it last year and had no idea how to care for it, as it happens I'm just in time to prune it back now. I'll definitely take your advice and put more in near the step. Grazie e ciao!
March 8, 2012 at 1:44PM   
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TanCalGal
To me, the loggia stones are too beautiful to replace. They are a sculpture in your garden. They add character and beauty to a functional walk. Stone craftsman are not doing this type of hand set garden work any longer & it should be preserved and cherished. One of my favorite memories of Italy is this type of setting and stone paths and mosaic. You have valid complaints, though. The stones harbor dust / dirt & that enters the house. Here are some thoughts. I live in a dusty area and my neighbors hand water hose their cement once a week or they use a blower (gas) that helps blow the dust or the stones can be swept. If the loggia was more cleared of furniture, you'd be able to keep / have more incentive to keep the dust / dirt controlled once a week. Have 2 large rugs outside and inside of the family entrance to wipe feet and remove shoes. We (& most of our friends) no longer wear shoes in the house. It takes a bit of re-learning, but really keeps the house a lot cleaner. My Asian neighbor has a collection of slippers in her front entry for guests and family to wear. I'm not that particular, I let guests wear shoes, but for family: they must wear house slippers! Why can't you use the loggia now for al fresco dining with the stones there? Depending on how large a table you need and number of chairs, I think seating could be arranged. A large table set for a party in an Italian loggia http://bellissimosentiero.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/img_0293.jpg I would work on one area at a time (if you are doing the work yourself). Step 1 is promoting the rule of no shoes in the house & making the rule easy to follow with places for shoes and slippers. Step 2 De-clutter the loggia & find a table & chairs for summer dining. Step 3 fix the terra cotta patio more attractively and step 4 fix the lawn. I love the look of a cement paver patio (like your link) but you have already the terra cotta patio & stone and terra cotta loggia, & stone walls so I think the walled garden nee
March 10, 2012 at 1:27PM   
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TanCalGal
continued I love the look of a cement paver patio (like your link) but you have already the terra cotta patio & stone and terra cotta loggia, & stone walls so I think the walled garden needs only grass as a good contrast to the hard places in your yard. Here are more cement paver type patio, but I do not think you need. http://www.houzz.com/cement-paver-patio OTHER IDEAS http://www.houzz.com/grass-backyard WALLED GARDEN http://www.houzz.com/walled-garden EATING OUTSIDE http://www.houzz.com/al-fresco
March 10, 2012 at 1:28PM     
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PRO
Glenna Partridge Garden Design
Cossagirl,

What a fantastic space to you have to work with! I think j222b has wonderful suggestions. I agree with him that the loggia has room for a table and chairs. Maybe push the table up against the wall where the bench is and then when you need to have more than few people eat there you could pull it away from the wall. A table is also a great place to put a collection of pots filled with some colour. I would probably add 3 large terra cotta pots in between each post. Planted with classic mediterranean plants... Rosemary, lavender, or maybe standard bay trees. Citrus shrubs? The repetition of the container will draw your eye through the space and the green will liven it up. Maybe plant climbers so they go up the posts? Group all the little accessories together in more defined vignettes. Regular watering down the loggia walkway would keep it clean.

I think the lawn area could have a grass/stone combination or an alternative to lawn... thyme/stone paver combo. With the dogs running around it will always look a bit "chewed" up at the best of times with lawn. 7 dogs did you say? 7 dogs doing their "business" on the lawn. LOL! oh dear.

I would put a container on either side of the stone bench and maybe a central path going from the raised terrace to the bench. Keep the symmetry but plant loose. It's a farmhouse so you want to keep that rustic vibe. The terra cotta patio area could have a table and chair set up to view down into the grass area. (Watch your crew of dogs play around) In one of my mediterranean styled gardens there is some warm coloured stone as a ground cover in a courtyard. I have a central cherub fountain and then a variety of italian terracotta pots in groupings. Check out my project titled Mediterranean Perennial to get a few more ideas. All the terra cotta is italian from Impruneta.

Regular watering down the loggia walkway would keep it clean and cool down space when it gets really hot. If I think of anything else I'll comment more. I
March 15, 2012 at 6:46PM     
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inabunker
I've suggest some pavers that have your terra cotta color in them and perhaps some plantings in between. But the big issue is the dogs, so I don't know if this would work. Oh, yes, the chairs and table were in this pic I pasted...they obviously don't need to be in that area.
March 17, 2012 at 12:15PM     
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PRO
Gorgeous Homes, Inc
Hi, I would clear the plants and do define areas around the loggia, the combination of the stone and tile is something that I am not very fond of ( where the chairs are ), it seems the tile walkway is too narrow, which means 2 people walking in different directions most likely would have to walk on the stone,I would make the entire area one material, mexican saltillo tile is beautiful and not expensive, on the loggia area, I would do some stained concrete to make it look aged and if possible I would do a small water fountain, listening to water running is always relaxing, how about a venetian pergola, painted in white? and some wrought iron trellises to give the house that old tuscan look?? I would do some pottery and definately do flowers around the walls.
March 17, 2012 at 12:30PM     
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inabunker
Here's another idea for your grass area.
March 18, 2012 at 8:08AM     
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cossagirl
Thank you Penelope, these images are beautiful. I ended up paving the grassed area with large slabs of stone from Puglia. In between there is grass. The lavender has grown much much bigger than I expected but looks lovely. Now it's time to concentrate on the terrace area, and your any of your suggetions would be fantastic.
October 29, 2013 at 1:04AM   
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penelopesdreamydesigns
I would love to see a photograph of what your outdoor room looks like now, please post your update. The lavender sounds beautiful. : ) Penny
October 29, 2013 at 8:33AM        Thanked by cossagirl
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cossagirl
Love these pics too! Lighting is such an important aspect -really adds the finishing touch to any area. Thanks to your photos I'm things to hang some of the string lighting on the terraza, maybe coming together in the centre with an old iron chandelier.

I'll send some photos of my garden shortly, I'm not living there at moment and it's a little overgrown. During the warmer months we move into our town house (not really town.... as only 10 mins away!) it's a beautiful old monastry also with the most beautiful rooftop terrace - which I've also been concentrating on decorating. It's looking pretty good, but I might even add the string lighting here too!
October 31, 2013 at 2:04AM     
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rosecottagehome
You have a beautiful outdoor spot and some great suggestions given. Look forward to seeing your after pics. Italy!!
October 31, 2013 at 3:55AM        Thanked by cossagirl
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rinqreation
Keep the grass patch for the dogs, even though it has a hard time from them playing on it.
October 31, 2013 at 4:08AM      Thanked by cossagirl
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cossagirl
photos tomorrow
October 31, 2013 at 11:52AM   
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penelopesdreamydesigns
great! I look forward to seeing them : )
October 31, 2013 at 12:32PM   
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libradesigneye
cossagirl, you might try using a groundcover like dimondia that will stand up to the dogs a little better and fill where the grass takes a beating ... you have a lovely space. Just stain the plain concrete arch with buff concrete stain to take it closer to the terracotta - which is warm and inviting.
October 31, 2013 at 12:37PM        Thanked by cossagirl
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cossagirl
Thanks for your interest and suggestions.

Here are some photos of my rooftop terrace. It's a very old structure and a bit of a work in progress. It has the most fantastic views of the old town's rooftops and the farming valley below. The fllor tiles will have to be pulled up sometime in the next year and water is seeping under them. We'll have to re-tile. I'm not in love with the existing orange/red machine made terracotta already there. SO maybe this will be an opportunit to choose something else.
I'll also include some photo's of the other terrace of this house - that one is a real disaster and needs some serious help.

Thanks again, Kylie
November 1, 2013 at 10:04AM   
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cossagirl
ok, now for the disaster terrace. This one is located off a big beautiful room with a high domed ceiling and alfresco's everywhere. So it should be lovely. Instead, because it has no open view, we don't use it for anything more than hanging out washing and as a work shop for sanding and painting. We've been restoring various rooms of the house from earthquake damage we got this year. Now it's time to fix this terrace.

The house is an old monastery and built around the garden. The terrace overlooks the internal garden of the house and you can see the other terrace from it. I'd really love to cover up the ugly exhaust from the restaurant located in our cellar. In summer it gets so hot it would be impossible to sit there. I was thinking maybe a wooden or metal roof structure ....possibly grow some vines over to provide shade. What do you think?
November 1, 2013 at 10:19AM   
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rosecottagehome
How about a large pergola with grape vines spilling over the top? Your place is beautiful and this terrace has so much potential. You will want to put out some seating, for those cooler days and also to enjoy the view from inside looking out. I love Italy. We just got back from a trip to the Venice area and country side. I so enjoyed the architecture and you sure have it going on in your home.
November 1, 2013 at 10:42AM        Thanked by cossagirl
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rosecottagehome
Some inspiration thank you houzz.........
Pergola 1 Pergola 2
November 1, 2013 at 10:48AM        Thanked by cossagirl
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cossagirl
Yes, you're right. A pergola would be lovely with vines and seating too. It's such a shame to see the dismal state of this terrace, in fact, I'm so used to seeing it this way I'd stopped noticing how bad it is. Seeing the photos has made it much more real - and urgent!

I love Venice too. 2 of my daughters attend university and live right in the heart of Venice. I go to visit them any chance I get.
November 1, 2013 at 10:50AM   
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rosecottagehome
All in good time, it will get done. You sound as if you have been very busy with renos and visiting girls in Venice too. We cycled and stayed on a river barge from Venice to Mantua. Loved the city of Farrara. Are you in the countryside north of the Po River? We stayed near the university in Venice while there. Well your family is so lucky to have such a beautiful spot both at your farm house and at the town house. That is much upkeep inside and out. All the best with your renos!
November 1, 2013 at 1:43PM      Thanked by cossagirl
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penelopesdreamydesigns
Cossagirl,
Oh it's beautiful even now, the views are beautiful too! we will call the one terrace "shabby chic" ; ) it has so much potential to be even better. I love what you have done so far, keep doing what you are doing, one thing at a time. Like you said the main thing is to get the leaks repaired then go from there. Thank you for sharing the photographs, very lovely.
: ) Penny
November 1, 2013 at 6:15PM      Thanked by cossagirl
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penelopesdreamydesigns
Hi Cossagirl,
How are you doing with your terraces?
Penny : )
November 11, 2013 at 8:05AM   
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cossagirl
Hi Penny, I'm afraid the weather took a sudden turn for the worse here . It's been torrential rain for days and again the sky is black today. After the longest stretch of beautiful autumn weather in 200 years it seems winter has arrived!
I haven't been able to do any work on my terraces and it may have to wait now till the spring time. Very soon we will move to the farm house 'Reginella' as it's warmer. This week we will start to pick the olives too - even if it rains :( We have a lot of trees so that job will go on for quite a while.
When I can, I will continue work on the inside of my homes. Little by little I've been restoring the farm house too and this year's job is my own bedroom....I might need some of your advice here too!
November 11, 2013 at 11:50PM   
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rosecottagehome
Hi cossagirl. Please be sure to send us your photos of your improvements in beautiful, yet rainy Italy. It is like a mini vacation for me, as I sit across the Atlantic, to see the homes I admired from the outside while there this fall, and now to see some of the architectural features from the inside...........would be grand. All the best with your upcoming harvest.
November 12, 2013 at 6:13AM        Thanked by cossagirl
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penelopesdreamydesigns
Thank you cossagirl, I will be glad to share my opinions with you on décor : ) I know what I like and already I think your style and mine are very close. I love to decorate bedrooms the most.
Yes, I wish our weather would cooperate so that I can get the exterior of our home painted. It's either too hot or raining : )
I have enjoyed so much seeing your homes, yes, we will have to work around the weather, it takes time but we will complete our projects as the weather allows. Very nice talking with you.
What are your ideas for your bedroom, if you are like me you have lots of ideas already. Penny : )
November 19, 2013 at 4:50PM   
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penelopesdreamydesigns
How are you Cossagirl? have you moved to the other home? Time has gotten away from me, hope you are doing well : )
December 16, 2013 at 8:23PM   
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