Jardín Italiano

Historic Garden Tour

Fridays-Sundays, 10am-5pm (last tour slot 3:30-4pm)

Explore the Italian Garden as well as some of the surrounding areas as envisioned by Sallie Dooley. 

It is easy to forget, as one strolls through the Italian Garden, that Maymont is a public space. The garden is magnificent—featuring exquisite stonework, statuary, gazebos, fountains and, of course, beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees. The Victorian garden is far better suited to an exclusive mansion than to a public space. And yet, during its unique existence, Maymont has been both—a private estate joyously opened to the public through the generosity of its owners.

James H. and Sallie May Dooley originally commissioned Maymont’s gardens at the turn of the 20th century. The sweeping lawns that surround their mansion and the other estate buildings were landscaped in the English pastoral style. In contrast to this planned, naturalistic landscape was the formality of the Italian Garden.

Noland and Baskervill of Richmond designed the Dooleys’ Italian Garden, using elements of the classical style developed in Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries as their model. Completed in 1910, the Italian Garden’s exquisite stonework is Petersburg granite. In keeping with the classical ideal, the Maymont garden was laid out in several levels and situated on a south-facing slope overlooking a body of water.

La entrada formal al Jardín Italiano está en su extremo occidental, orientada hacia Maymont Mansion. Un arco de piedra con la inscripción en latín "Via Florum" (camino de las flores) marca la transición de un parque informal al mundo cerrado del jardín italiano. El Jardín Via Florum, que florece a lo largo de los paseos que conectan Maymont Mansion con el Jardín Italiano, fue restaurado en 2003 gracias a la generosa financiación de la Fundación de la Familia Harrison.

The garden entrance is under the shelter of the pergola, a structure consisting of parallel rusticated granite colonnades supporting a trellis-work roof. At the east end of the pergola is a dome under which the slightest sound produces a curious echo. The Italian Garden pergola is especially sought after for outdoor weddings during the warmer months of the year.

Geometrically patterned beds, or parterres, are a distinct element of the Italian style. Since the Dooleys did not summer at Maymont, spring flowers were emphasized in their garden. However, now that we enjoy the estate all year long, the garden is planted with a variety of flowers to bloom spring through fall.

Se pueden ver tres niveles adicionales del jardín desde el nivel principal: el Jardín Secreto, el Paseo Marítimo y la Cascada. En los jardines italianos del Renacimiento, el jardín secreto se diseñó como un pequeño patio cerrado al que las damas podían retirarse para hablar y hacer labores de punto.

Al este hay una vista importante diseñada para ser vista desde el jardín. El punto focal de la vista es una glorieta de diseño clásico importada de Italia por los Dooley. Este encantador complemento del jardín italiano alcanza su punto más hermoso a fines de la primavera, cuando las peonías que rodean la glorieta están en plena floración.

Maymont’s Italian Garden artfully combines the classical elements of geometric design, varied colors, multiple levels and historic vistas to create a distinctly formal garden experience within the natural setting of the James River fall line terrain.