Location: La Forestella, Bolsena, Italy
Mr and Mrs James Graham
Overview: La Forestella is a small estate situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of the ancient Etruscan landscape close to Lake Bolsena. The large country house sitting proud at the top of gently undulating land, commands views across woodlands and ancient meadows. A raw bucolic landscape hardly touched by man.
Design Brief: Design a new garden and develop the estate whilst carefully considering the connection to the natural landscape.
This is an exciting and ongoing project we began in 2013. Although essentially a blank canvas, our design approach and vision has carefully considered the strong presence of the natural landscape, aiming to create a garden that is effortlessly integrated to the wider landscape, turning it into a haven and escape from the stress of city life with a protective and nurturing atmosphere.
The garden encircles the house and gradually merges into the wilder estate and landscape beyond. The clients’ desire to use curves in the design and avoid straight lines, has resulted in some interesting spaces and terraces which gel with the typically undulating topography. The need to recontour some terraced areas of the garden has brought to surface a much more harmonious and integrated effect and has consolidated the feeling of the house nestling in the landscape. A large terrace adjoining the back of the house – connected to a formal oval lawn bordered by wildflower meadows provides the focal point to the garden; a place to relax and entertain and offering views across the garden and adjacent fields. The existing swimming pool was stripped back and relined with black basalt stone with a beautiful soft limestone terrace surrounding it. A low dry-stone wall echoes those on the estate and creates a little sense of enclosure.
This is an ongoing project in the early stages of planting and we will update the photographs as the project develops.