The Italian Garden is uniquely organized into low geometric planting areas divided up by walkways and garnished with statuary and a small pool.
It’s a lovely place to stroll through and the overhanging gazebo walk or “pergola” adds an additional ambiance.
On our first visit there were rows of wedding chairs being set up.
The main visual elements of this garden are not necessarily the flowers but the Classical formality of its structure. The statuary and rose studded walls create a romance that offsets the formal qualities. The designers for the Italian style were Noland and Baskervill of Richmond. Their Renaissance style organization provides an elegant ambiance twist.
One of the nice touches about this Italian style garden is the rustic path that one meets at the end of the pergola. It has the same feel as one gets walking through the vineyards of Italy itself. Maymont points out this is actually the “formal entrance” into this space and “is marked by a stone arch with the Latin inscription ‘Via Florum (flowering way)’, which acts as a transitional point between the “informal parkland into the enclosed world of the Italian Garden.”
There are numerous flowers here aside from the roses, but my favorite were the unexpected grapes –
at least I think they are grapes.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all there is a massive square staircase that brings you into a long rectangular terrace just below the garden. I was curious as to where we were being led and then, WOW!!!!!
This stunning, unbelievably lovely, double spiral staircase surrounding it’s own terraced waterfall comes into view. This must be the main event!
After spending more time than we planned getting down this staircase (the great photo opportunities kept getting in the way), we ended up taking even more time shooting upward to catch the view from below.
This was all before the even bigger surprise I mentioned yesterday: the waterfall and the beginning of the Japanese Garden!
So, as gardens go, this one is a tease. The wonderful layout pulls us through and surprises us along the way. This garden would be a great place for a first date. I found it charming and a constant stimulus for conversation and pictures. And the way this path drops you in the Japanese garden is a treat.
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Once again we’re leaving another set of wonderful gardens, but only for a day to get an overview of the beauty of the trees and walkways which constitute much of Maymont’s experience.