Types of Plants for a Tuscan Garden

Grown in dozens of colorful varieties, each with its own distinct shape, color and size, Italian-inspired plants and flowers make for a showy, garden display and landscape. Many plants used in gardens inspired by Italy's Tuscany region are evergreen and retain their color and foliage throughout the year. Oftentimes, they prefer full sun and well-drained soils to thrive. From geranium-filled pots lining a garden pathway to the cypress-dotted landscapes, Tuscan-style plants and flowers create a magical feel to the garden.

Italian Cypress

Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) trees create the quintessential Tuscan garden. Lining a backyard as a makeshift fence or patio screen evokes the feeling of a cypress-lined Tuscan road. Italian cypress trees have a moderate growth rate and medium to fine texture. The Italian cypress tree has an upright, slender columnar form and grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. The blue-green leaves on the Italian cypress tree remain intact and with color all year long and are a much needed respite to winter's gray landscape. As an evergreen, the Italian cypress is ideal in containers flanking a garden pergola or patio. Italian cypress trees prefer full sun to thrive. Versatile, the Italian cypress tree grows in a wide range of soil types.

Rosemary

Hailing from the Mediterranean , rosemary (Rosemaryinus officinalis) is an ideal evergreen landscape plant to create a Tuscan feel to the garden. A hardy shrub, rosemary grows in upright clumps that hold the needle-like leaves. Aromatic, the leaves on rosemary are useful for flavoring soups and vegetables, while creating a vibrant landscape presence. From the cool winter months through spring, rosemary blooms its purple-blue flowers to light up the garden. Rosemary grows 3 to 6 feet tall and is ideal nestled along a garden rock wall or spilling over a sloped, terraced garden. Drought-tolerant, rosemary grows in a wide range of soil types, and once established, requires little maintenance. 'Tuscan Blue,' a variety of rosemary, is aromatic with large leaves that provide a long-lasting garden presence.

Bougainvillea

Bougainville (Bougainivillea spectabilis) is a perennial vine that blooms in the bright colors of the Italian countryside. Draping over an outdoor pergola or arbor, bougainvillea has curved and twining stems that elegantly cover the structure. Bougainvillea vines grow in wide range of colors including, pink, white, orange, purple, apricot and red. With the ability to grow in containers, bougainvillea fits inside small or large Tuscan-style gardens. Bougainvillea prefers fertile, nutrient-rich soils to thrive.

Keywords: Tuscan garden plants, Italian cypress, rosemary shrub, bougainvillea vine

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in Travels.com and GardenGuides.com and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and Forbes.com.