Harmony is the garden project by IL NATURE, unique in its eclectic combination of verdure, stone surfaces and sea ambience, enveloping in their velvety embrace the legendary Carven family villa – a favourite hideaway spot for generations of celebrated French perfumers and fashion designers. The ensemble consisting of Mediterranean endemics and plants from other latitudes was created in the town of Saint-Raphaël that stretches along the French Riviera seacoast, between Cannes and Nice. This gentle part of land, towering over the sea, now belongs to the family with advanced views and contemporary approach towards garden and landscape architecture, who has wished to arrange a comfortable space for recreation, while keeping intact the overall appearance of a wild garden.
Harmony is the manifesto of caring for the past with a natural touch of modern attitude; it is a project wrapped up in poetry of flowers and plants. We have consciously digressed from the tradition of classical garden design, fully trusting in the philosophy of wise Mediterranean flora, but with a contemporary twist.
The striking individuality of the garden is enhanced through fine, almost nature-like topiary features. This method of space arrangement has been already popular in the times of Ancient Rome. The fashion for Roman patrician gardens quickly spread throughout the entire conquered world. Subsequently, simple shaping of plants as ships, temples, birds or animals gave way to the creation of individual garden compositions, and then, smoothly evolved into harmonious garden and park ensembles. Unusual forms have artfully and naturally transformed the garden into a single author's work. They do not stand out as self-sufficient objects, but appear as the overall compositional design – the fact that has also found its expression in the name of the garden.
And now the fragrant floral symphony of white-flowered agapanthus, lavender, creeping rosemary and lilyturf resounds through the terraces and cosy chillout areas, wafts over the paths and plays with sunrays.
Knob-like, as if artificially ridden with old age, carob tree, olive, zen oak and bottle tree trunks set off the grace and charm of the entire garden. This becomes particularly prominent at sunset and dawn hours.
Descending over the green ledges along the rocky cliffs towards the sea, the Harmony garden connects the main villa and its companion wings, integrating them into a consistent country house ensemble stretching along the coast. Elegant pine trees perched on the stony slopes are the only witnesses to the calm and serene life led by the former owners of the villa. The pines surround the garden and make it look complete. The combination of their vertical lines and shapes of young plants creates a second layer – the shadowy garden that thinly veils and shields the private life away from noise, prying eyes and glare of the Mediterranean sun with the umbrella-shaped shrubs of Osmanthus.