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Garden Features

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Mercury Courtyard

The marble statue of Mercury (Hermes), the winged messenger of the gods. The cells within the parterres of clipped boxwood are planted in a variety of groundcovers.

Terrace D'Luna & Loggias

The North and South Loggias frame the East Terrace. The view is most stunning when the full moon rises and is reflected in the lake.

Parnassus Terrace

Small statues called Putti (babies) represent the four seasons and various arts, including music and painting, sections of the orchestra, theater, and architecture.

Nymphaeum Terrace

Located in the small grotto is a lead dolphin, which represents the source of the water featured at Villa Terrace.


An eight-passenger tram is useful for visitors of all ages while ascending and descending the 55' climb.


Four varieties of dwarf flowering​ crabapples are selected for their pink and while blossoms in spring.

South and North Allees

A statue of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, is located at the end of the South Allee. Ceres represents fall season with the harvest of grain.

South and North Excedras

Excedras are defined as semi-circular benches. Their form promotes conversation and dialogue. A pair of excedras are located across from eah other on an axis running through the ragnaias.

South Roundel

A giardino segreto (secret garden) is located in the southeast corner of the property. The sculpture is of Diana, goddess of the hunt, identified by her quiver of arrows.

Neptune Gate

The gate is filled with symbolism through the use of various Greco-Roman icons. It took two years to finished and is considered a major benchmark of traditional ironwork in the United States.

North Roundel

The statue is of Hercules, the great Greek warrior-athlete. He is known for his physical strength and idealized masculinity. 

North and South Ragnaias

A double row of large ornamental shrubs creates thickets framing a north-south axis between the excedra. The ragnaia traditionally provided welcome cooling shade. 

Prato (Meadow)

An obelisk of cast stone provides vertical punctuation for this flat lawn area. 


Built to resemble a small Roman temple, the architectural design of the restrooms was donated by the firm of Plunkett-Raysich.

Vasca (Fish Pond)

Since Roman times, fishponds like this were incorporated into Villa gardens to hold live fish. The lion mask was found in the basement of Villa Terrace and was probably bought by the Smith Family.

Scaletta D'Aqua

The water stairway is copied from the Villa Cicogna. Originally, the water was pumped directly out of Lake Michigan. Approximately 200 gallons per minute are circulated down the staircase. 

Scalinata Double

Benches located at the outer landings of the ramp provide a welcome place to rest and enjoy the view. 

Herm Terrace

A small, intermediate terrace has a small semi-circular pool to receive the flow from the water channel. 

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