Castiglioncello, Tuscany

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This semi-abandoned Tuscan village occupies a dramatic hilltop setting, overlooking the stark
lunar landscape of the Val d’Orcia to the west and the lush green forests of Monte Amiata to the south.
The houses of the village were being restored and transformed into exclusive holiday accommodation.

Creating a garden here presented a number of challenges. The village’s altitude – 850m above sea level – and exposure to the winds that sweep up from the surrounding valleys imposed natural restrictions on the species that could be planted.

As the process of depopulation progressed, the vegetation of the place adapted itself, with spontaneous plants invading what were once neat orchards and carefully tended vegetable plots: maintain this charming blend of the cultivated-for-use and the lushly spontaneous was vital if the village’s identity was to be safeguarded.