Every once in a while I hear some one remark that they expected a tropical garden with lots of flowers at Vizcaya, unaware that it is a classic Italian garden.
To quote Edith Wharton "Though it is an exaggeration to say that there are no flowers in Italian gardens, yet to enjoy and appreciate the Italian garden-craft one must always bear in mind that it is independant of floriculture."
During the Renaissance the garden became an extension of the house not merely a walled place to grow food. Hence the symetrical parterre represented the oriental carpet, walls define the room, and the sky the ceiling as in trompe l'oeil ceilings. Water was always a feature to cool and sooth the body and soul. Statues were also always a feature so one was never alone in the garden. With this in mind see how marvelously Diego Suarez the garden designer achieved an "Italian garden".
I love this image by Grant K. Gibson