A manor house in Novara transformed into a prestigious residence.

A rural manor, like so many built at the turn of the 19th century, owned by a prominent local businessman who has decided to renovate the building itself and its gardens. An old family garden in need of some updating, a delicate task of combining a new dream with memories from the past. within a week a first draft of the preliminary design is ready with a range of options and a rough estimate of the relative cost. The enthusiastic client chooses the solutions he feels best interprets both his vision and the long history attached to this ancestral home.
four months later the new garden is born from the ashes of its former glory in complete harmony with the nature surrounding it. The work is completed in November 2011. That year Italy experiences its harshest winter since 1956 and Piedmont is buried beneath a blanket of snow. During the first half of february 2012 freezing winds from Siberia sweep over the whole of northern Italy, bringing the temperature down to -20°C. The garden’s proud owner is alarmed: everything has frozen, not even a bud will survive. he calls the architect Paghera and without beating around the bush asserts that he won’t pay a penny of the bill until he sees some flowers. Paghera, who knows a thing or two about nature and gardening, doesn’t bat an eyelid and agrees.
In the meantime the weather is getting warmer, the snow melts and spring arrives almost unexpectedly. Suddenly the garden bursts into a riot of scent and colours, almost as if flora, the famous goddess “of all that flowers” as the ancients used to say, has passed that way. And as Paghera enjoys the scene to the full his client almost faints away dead at his feet.

Plants and nature are the stars in this garden: landscaped greenery and combinations of flowers define the space, softening the architectural lines. Plants have been used with gay abandon, the borders are thick with herbaceous plants flowering in a riot of colour. Everything is as natural as possible, fully respecting the plants’ needs, but nothing requires too much work, as it should be in every garden. But this is a garden within a garden: it bears witness to memories, emotions and long-gone sentiments in an intimate, almost domestic, sense. It looks as if it has been there forever, as if it had been planted by the owner’s grandfather many years ago, when the two towering pine trees silently dominating the gates were mere saplings. The sinuous paths of white gravel slope slightly upwards to the main gate and a wonderful view. here is a spacious lawn surrounded by flowers, mainly roses. In the centre of the lawn is a circular fountain which completes the scene perfectly. Just beyond the view opens out onto the surrounding countryside to the infinite line of the horizon. This is a garden without borders, it has no high walls or fences around it, but simple ecosystems of evergreen hedges, shrubs and flowers that mute their colours with the seasons. It gives the impression of being perfectly integrated as part of the vast landscape which is its natural completion.

This is a “natural” garden of 3000 m², fruit of an in-depth study and the accumulated experience of five generations of horticulturists, where nothing is left to chance, but each stage of the project is carried out according to a very precise schedule.

from Lucia Impelluso

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