Italian Villa
Pasadena, California 1984



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Italian Villa Pasadena, California 1984:

In the late 1920's a wealthy family from the east cost built this Italian Style Villa on four acres overlooking Pasadena's Arroyo Seco. In 1984 Glen Hampton garden designs was contacted by the Pasadena Showcase House of Design and asked to redesign the entry courtyard.


The existing space, enclosed and viewed from the circular entrance drive, contained an antique Italian marble bench and urns... But the greatest find, discovered while cleaning out the overgrown plantings, was a tile roofed alcove, its niche hung with an authentic Luca Della Robbia Virgin and Child Relief. The alcove was originally created as a focal point to be viewed, across an Italian terra cotta walkway leading from the porte-cochère entry.


Landscape Designer Glen Hampton brought in a faux finish artist to patina the interior walls of the existing niche with a faux Malachite Stone finish, to complement the Della Robbia Relief. Animal topiaries were installed to frame the setting and add a touch of whimsy to the gardens formal design. Colorful borders and lush shrubbery plantings enclosed the dichondra lawns, set with fountain parterre gardens as focal points bordering both sides of the tiled walkway. The result is an entry courtyard garden to this classic Italian Villa, done in the Mediterranean Gardens style.


It's interesting to note that this villa was occupied by the outrageous David Lee Roth and Van Halen, a local Pasadena band, at the time this garden was created. Several of their best tracks were laid down in the Villa's basement recording studio.



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