"Italian gardens, as it turns out, are places for walking, thinking, conversing and relaxing. Their most common elements are paths, hedges, arcades, fountains, pools and grottos. They very seldom utilize color (a feature that is often ofterdone in American gardens), instead concentrating on foliage texture, stone and statuary. Usual plantings are trees, shrubs and vines.
What is most instructive is the layout of these Italian gardens, including the idea of garden rooms and the use of water features (both of which have become immensely popular here in the US, in the last few years). The architecture of the garden is everything, and is an extension of the house. Order, logic and function are paramount in the Italian garden.
Edith Wharton is a brilliant and fascinating guide; literary and historical references abound. A joy to read and to keep for reference." - Amazon Reviewer