|Cecil Pinsent's closed green garden at La Foce with its crisp hedges. Monte Amiata is palely visible to the south-east|
When Iris Origo and her husband Antonio bought the roughly 3000-hectare (7000-acre) property at La Foce in 1924 they can have had little idea of the geopolitical upheavals that would rack their territory over the following twenty years. But they may have had an inkling of the changes they themselves would bring to La Foce.
|The villa's main buildings preserve the inn's original structure and have only expanded rather than altered it; the result is a relatively unpretentious architectural style|
|While Cecil Pinsent and Antonio Origo worked on the structures of the neo-Renaissance style garden and its green embellishments, Iris softened the lines with her plantings of flowers and addition of colour|
The clay-laden slopes facing the property were subject to erosion, so the Origos planted them with broom; the inhabitants of the farm on the top of the hill opposite had trouble getting to and from the valley, so the Origos built the winding road lined with cypresses which has become an icon of southern Tuscany.
Today the garden at La Foce but also the surrounding countryside look as though they have been sitting there for centuries uncountable. Naturally it is an illusion. The harmonious, joyful whole was created from next to nothing by these two energetic and determined people with the inimitable help of the architect and garden designer, Cecil Pinsent, who had already worked on other villas within the Anglo-American community in Tuscany.
|the lemon garden and its clipped box|
|Cecil Pinsent's greatest influence is visible in the lower garden with is rigorous lines and exclusively green colour scheme which resembles other gardens designed by him, such as at Villa I Tatti and Villa Le Balze.|
|a sculpture symbolising the search for water at La Foce was created by Antonio Origo's father Clemente Origo|
|a corner of the garden near the limonaia (which was added to the property by Pinsent)|
|steps lead up into the woods above La Foce, where once partisans and foreign troops hid, sustained and protected by the owners of the property|
|The sundial on the La Foce courtyard wall reads: 'the hours return, but those no longer'. Considering the troubled war history of the estate it is unclear whether this is said with relief or with regret|
|Iris's rose garden has been modernised with plantings from all over the world; today two full-time gardeners care for the garden|
|La Foce's original kitchen and scullery are also on view|