Villa PIA

The level site with close neighbors is a short bike ride from historic Sonoma Plaza. It was designed for summer use only, with maximum garden and minimum architecture.

Planned as an enfilade of outdoor rooms, you arrive at a circular parking area surrounded by low walls and a ring of olive trees. Walk thru a green wall and you find yourself in the dining pavilion opening on to a large terrace, at who's center creeping fig covers the raised walls of the swimming pool. Straight ahead the view continues down an allee flanked by high bay hedges. Shallow steps with broad brick paving lead up to a blue ceramic fountain bracketed by ilex hedges. Beyond you catch a glimpse of the sky and the Mayacamas mountains.

The allee's length is exaggerated by the use of forced perspective. The vine covered walls converge in plan and their tops slope down as they retreat. Bedrooms and baths are hidden behind the green walls.

Beyond the fountain is a sunken garden, water lilies and hyacinths filling the central vernal pool. The surrounding walk edged with potted agaves leads to a faux romantic ruin that catches the late afternoon sun.

A kitchen garden is hidden beyond the curving bay hedge.  Along the North side of the property a 120' long grapevine covered trellis spans a driveway providing access for maintenance and a shady walk during the mid-day heat.

First time guests remark that they could be in the South of France or Italy, and after touring the garden they always ask "how many acres do you have?" The answer: little more than half an acre.