Back to Villa del Greco, this time to talk about how the garden’s new fountains came to be.
The courtyard and wall fountains were from a renovation that took place in the 1990s, while the home was from the 1920s. As I previously mentioned, the owner was keen on restoring as many original details of the home as possible, which meant keeping the ‘20s while ditching the ‘90s (especially its outdated technology!). She was also very concerned about how the updated water features would contribute to California’s ongoing drought; her wise choices actually meant that her water bill went down after installation was complete.
George Washington Smith (GWS), Villa del Greco’s original architect, was greatly influenced by his travels. He was particularly charmed by the Moorish-influenced gardens in the south of Spain, putting to use the tile and water elements typical of southern Spain in many of the southern California gardens he would eventually build. For inspiration for our fountains, we took a trip to nearby Casa del Herrero, one of GWS’s master works.
Next, we went hunting for tile. We were delighted to discover that many of the patterns are still being made. Working from the sizes and patterns available, plus our inspiration photos, we began our design.
We repeated our Moorish star theme in the central courtyard fountain, embellishing it with additional decorative tile.
For the wall fountain, we continued with the same colorway, sketching various versions of the fountain, then selecting the one that we liked best.
Finally, we turned our hand to the remaining relic from GWS’s original garden: the runnels and the small sunken fountain in the historical Black Acacia allee, carefully restoring them in the same footprint and (mostly) pattern .
We restored the remaining original fountain, runnels and brickwork.
When we next return to Villa del Greco we’ll look at other great new tilework on site…
Thanks for reading!
Sneak peak into our next blog post…