Shall we take a walk through my backyard………….IMG_5804

White and Yellow roses those are my colors I chose so many years ago!White for its sheer beauty and Yellow for “an end to an affair!”


An affair you say………YES!An affair I had with ITALY!


You see I moved there in 1991.


I was told I would fall in love with Italy or miss the States………by year three I would know.


Guess what?I fell in LOVE with ITALY!


My husbands family had chickens………….


I felt I needed some chickens too here.


I have an obsession with old garden cement ornaments…………..


Maybe because the husband works with cement now!


Or perhaps,I saw too many old antique VILLA’S and CASA COLONICA’S as I traveled up the VIA ROMA  and down to FLORENCE.



These steps I call the SPANISH STEPS………not exactly like the ones in ROME but they are my Spanish steps.


White because they stand out in the night sky.Don’t you just love that tinge of pink?


Yellow because I had to leave ITALY and come home.


My husband calls it a jungle………….


I call it a little bit of heaven.


Twenty years ago………. come June I left Italy……….


Only to have created a home and garden that reminds me daily of that time so long ago lost on a hilltop with a view of the DUOMO surrounded by ROMAN roads……..


  1. tara dillard says

    Why did you HAVE to leave Italy?

    Was not expecting Italy to affect me. Too many of those stories abound.

    Of course it did.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

    • La Contessa says

      Long story…….a story to share when we are in a garden together one day soon I hope!

  2. Marsha @ Splenderosa says

    I call it heaven too.
    Elizabeth, please email me the name of these roses. I’m having some climbers planted on both sides of a tall French window and yours are absolutely perfect.
    Just like you…perfect!

  3. Jennifer says

    I do know first hand just how stunning your garden is my friend. Your green thumb and extraordinary decorating are stunning and inspiring. Enjoy this beautiful weekend!!

  4. Anita Rivera says

    Oh how stunning, how absolutely STUNNING! There is so much here I am inspecting…the roses, the CHANDELIER in the garden! I must do this! Today I plan on cleaning up what winter left behind, and I am putting up my whispy white curtains in my enclosed patio. I have cement garden elements, and it is time to have some fun. Grazie Contessa! Anita

    • La Contessa says

      Thrilled I can inspire YOU!!!!!!!!!
      Do you have a CD of yourself playing the harp?I would love to buy if that is a YES!

  5. theduchessofh says

    Your garden is enchanting! Your roses are sublime, and I love your iron perspective!
    I join the others in their interest to know the names of the roses.

    • La Contessa says

      The white roses are Mediland,Iceberg and Bolero……..my favorite!Also, Sally Holmes is dancing in there.She makes poofs with her rose petals!I have done a row of three..always plant in three’s to hide the chicken coop!
      The yellow roses……….Limoncello,CASINO a climber,ST. Patrick,MorningRising Sun another climber,Charlotte,Alina and a few others I cannot recall the names!
      Thanks for stopping in!If I can be of more help just e-mail me here!

  6. Jennifer Rankin says

    Not only heavenly, but heaven scent. Truly glorious. Having your garden …………like being on a vacation. Enjoy the season. thank you for sharing the splendor. P

  7. Loree says

    What a dreamy beautiful garden you have. I love it. The roses are gorgeous – I can almost smell them. I love Italy too. It’s been too long since I last visited.

  8. kim says

    Contessa this is beyond lovely. I adore all your roses and the mix of white and yellow is something I never thought of, but want to do now. All your roses also look like heirloom varietals and David Austens. So gorgeous. I’m not sure I’d leave the yard ever if I lived there! I also like cement benches and figures and agree a jungle garden is the best!
    I think I want to be you when I grow up! Of course we are only a few years apart. :) I love how you live – your home, your life and your unique perspective!! Going to share this on my page it’s so beautiful!

    x Kim

    • La Contessa says

      I think we are MORE then a few years apart!I have a painter here this week and he too wants to be me when he grows up!How funny I heard that line twice in one week!He is 44………..XX

  9. foodiefan says

    Wish I’d had the chance to see your garden in full bloom like this on my visits! Love all the different hues of white. Very clever design by a very talented Contessa!

  10. Jody Brettkelly says

    Your garden really is heaven you know. Those white roses are just dreamy and there is so many of them, they are so happy there. Thoughts of Duomo now, how wonderful

  11. sarah says

    Your garden is magnificent Elizabeth, I can imagine the pleasure it must bring you. I have special memories of visiting the Spanish Steps and I love your very own replica – enchanting.

  12. glamour drops says

    Your roses are so healthy!!!

    What is the beautiful yellow one with the full flowers? I have to grow roses because my cat will only drink from a vase with roses (or camellias) floating in it….he is very spoiled….but mine are nowhere near as voluptuous as these beauties. I think you must have brought some of the italian generosity back with you!

  13. says

    THANK YOU!Just luck really!
    GRAHAM THOMAS, I believe is the rose you are referring too!Another good yellow rose that is very sturdy is Saint Patrick, which is not shown here.
    My Mother’s cat does the same!!!!!!!!

  14. D. A. Wolf says

    Oh, how lovely. And at every mention of Italy I want to swoon. My son JUST – and I mean JUST – returned from Florence where he was spending a semester as an architecture / art student. (So much fun to see his sketchbooks and architectural drawings.)

    I just want to breathe in these lovely pathways and blooms.


    • says

      That is one lucky BOY!
      He will remember that semester for the rest of his life…………..
      Was he the boy on the left or the right of your photo?!!

  15. Cindy Koenigsberg says

    Gorgeous garden – would love to see (and smell) it in bloom. Have thoughts of returning to Italy soon, but in the meantime our son is going to Rome this summer on an archaeological dig and we will live vicariously through his experiences!

  16. Karen albert says

    So truly glorious!!I have the feeling of being in a Secret Garden!

    The Arts by Karena

  17. D. A. Wolf says

    Oh, you’re so gracious to ask about my boys, Contessa. My once oh-so-quiet and mysterious artistic child just back from Florence is the smiling boy on the right. His brother is only a year older and is on the left of our precious dog in that photo. (He, the elder, is gregarious, scientific and wildly multilingual!)

    Perhaps today (for my daily writing) I’ll pen a few words on my younger just-home son, and capture a few of his drawings from Italy. It’s so good when they pop home for a bit, isn’t it?


  18. sharon santoni says

    A jungle of roses, I could hardly imagine a greater luxury!! Your pictures are divine and I am sure the scent in the garden is too!
    Thank you for your kind words today



  19. Anita Rivera says

    Hello Contessa! First of all, I see your question here about my harp! No, I do not have a CD! THank you however, for asking! ANd thank you so much for coming over to my blog today. I had a great day of planting flowers yesterday and your post reminds me of what I am aiming for this year: ALL WHITE! Enjoy your day! Anita

  20. Jody Brettkelly says

    Hi there, just called in to say bubye before I fly away for my epic day and a half on a plane Take care and lets get together soonest when I get back. Caio caio (sp?/)

  21. Paul Clancy says

    Full on GLAMOUR! What more could you ask for from THE Contessa. I wish our garden would catch up to be as voluptuous and beautiful. I try to keep our gardens as mystical as possible which is in keeping with our company ethos of being magical. I have a high bar to climb if we are to create such fabulousness such as the grounds within which you reside oh gorgeous one.
    Have a wonderful week.
    Paul x

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