Greetings from Florida! As we recover from year-end shopping, travel, gift giving, and bills, let’s go back to a time when money was no object.
In 1915, American industrialist James Deering, of the International Harvester fortune hired Colombian landscape architect Diego Suarez to create Vizcaya, an Italian renaissance garden. Modeled after the original ones from 350 years earlier, Deering picked Key Biscayne outside of Miami, Florida for its setting. Suarez, a graduate of Florence's Accademia di Belle Arti, was an expert in historic Italian gardens and designed several famous gardens for the Anglo-American community in Florence. He brought his knowledge to bear in the design for Vizcaya. Part of the unique personality of this garden lies in Suarez's use of native plants within an Italian design framework, including oaks, royal palms, peach palm, elephant ear, and flowering lily.
No expense was spared in building Vizcaya. Trips to Europe involved visiting gardens for inspiration and meeting with antique dealers to collect original garden pots and statuary. During the height of construction, 10% of the population of Miami was employed on the project.
In the photos here we see the use of axes, symmetry, order, repetition, and water.
A visit to Vizcaya is well worth the time, especially in the winter months.
Best wishes to all for 2015!