The Italian garden, the French garden and the English garden
An aspect that must be taken into account when designing gardens in the Marche is the peculiar conformation of the territory.
To better understand how the territory influences the style and the creation of green spaces, it is useful to make some reference to the history of the garden.
The Italian garden was born at the beginning of the Renaissance as a hill garden, differentiating itself in this from the models that impose themselves in Europe in the following centuries.
The style of the French or English garden reflects the predominant conformation of the territory in these countries.
The large French garden of the seventeenth century extends over huge areas, in flat spaces obtained from endless wooded regions. The peculiar elements of the French style are the superhuman dimensions, the possibility of the gaze to embrace the garden which extends all the way to the horizon, the contrast between the ordered formal spaces and the surrounding forests.
The eighteenth-century English landscape garden is built in gently undulating areas, occupied by large grassy expanses intended for grazing.
The naturalness of the English style is obtained by the presence of groups of trees placed between verdant lawns, by the lack of a clear formal setting and by the absence of a clear separation between garden and countryside.
The country house and the garden in the hills
In Italy, during the insecure centuries of the Middle Ages gardens consisted of productive spaces included within castles and fortified palaces.
With the advent of the Renaissance and greater social security, country villas were built having in mind the example of the ancients.
Renaissance villas are constructed near the city, on the hills that offer healthy air and better climatic and hygienic conditions.
The creation of gardens in hilly areas decisively influences the style and construction characteristics.
You cannot miss terraces, panoramic views and stairways that connect the various levels.
It is also required to have water both for the villa and its occupants, as well as for the life of the garden.
In a terraced garden the presence of water cannot be static.
The difference in altitude between the various parts of the garden will ensure that the water is always in motion, flowing from the top to the lower parts of the garden and giving life to waterfalls and fountains with spectacular jets.
Large expanses of quite water which act as huge mirrors reflecting the sky and light, are so typical of the French garden but not so for the Italian one.
The creation of a garden cannot be separated from the context in which it takes place: for this reason the analysis of the place is the first essential phase of garden design.
The climatic conditions and the type of building materials available in the area also affect the architecture of its infrastructures.
But as long as it meets defined functional and housing needs, a building can be built in an extremely free way and free from the context in which it operates.
The creation of gardens takes place by operating directly on the ground and consists in giving a new look to the existing landscape.
It is impossible, both for technical and economic reasons, to distort the conformation of the surrounding environment, which will inevitably define the character and structure of the garden that we are going to design.
For this reason, the architectural variety that we can notice in our cities does not have a parallel in the creation of gardens.
The gardens in the Marche
The Marche region is mainly characterized by a hilly landscape. Leaving aside the creation of gardens on the coast which presents specific problems, in the province of Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata and Ancona the gardens are often made in hilly areas.
The province of Pesaro and Urbino is an exception, being harsher in its orography and less characterized by the clear geometricity of the agricultural landscape typical of the rest of the region.
So the garden designer in the Marche will not be able to escape the comparison with the typical problems of the Italian garden.
Designing a garden in the twenty-first century obviously presents different challenges than in the past: new answers must be given to similar problems.
The contemporary garden must reflect the values of modernity, first of all respect for the environment and the sustainable use of resources.
As in the past, it is still necessary to shape the land to define the areas of the garden and to allow its livability in all its parts. In creating terraces and paths, however, we will try to avoid the use of materials with excessive environmental impact.
The creation of terraces, balustrades and stone staircases will be executed with the use of lighter and less expensive materials, which limit the waterproofing of surfaces and give a contemporary character to the garden.
The design of modern gardens in the Marche
The modern garden must express the tastes and personality of those who live it, and therefore will not be conceived as an uncritical imitation of the classic style, which reflected the aesthetic sense and the needs of its clients.
The decorative elements typical of past eras, such as statues, friezes and vases, should be used sparingly and declined in modern forms.
Any type of embellishment should be introduced only if it is functional to create the atmosphere we want, avoiding any form of ostentation that can lead to bad taste.
The decoration for its own sake makes the garden go out of fashion within a few years, with the result that it will no longer be able to excite and communicate with those who live it.
The garden and the house are in close relationship: the garden is the outside continuation of the house, so it must dialogue at the same time both with the house and with the surrounding environment.
The garden must mediate between the eternal element of nature and the changing element of human culture.
The garden of a farmhouse must harmonize with the agricultural environment, from which the farmhouse also draws inspiration.
As the house will have to respond to the needs of modern living by reinterpreting tradition in an innovative way, so the garden must be inserted in its own context without repeating models of the past.
The Garden Designer must be able to make a modern use of natural elements such as plants, and a natural use of even innovative materials in the built parts.
Above all, the designer of the green will have to be able to give life to a space that is lived by those who live there, as it was in the past.
The garden must bring people back in contact with nature and in tune with its slow and deep rhythms. This is possible only if the project is functional and responsive to the needs of today’s life.
In conceiving and creating gardens in the Marche region, we must therefore look at past history to draw inspiration from them. But the garden creator must give innovative and contemporary responses to the same problems faced in the past.