How many kinds of sweet flowers grow...

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow
In an English country garden?
We'll tell you now of some that we know
Those we miss you'll surely pardon
Daffodils, heart's ease and flox
Meadowsweet and lady smocks
Gentian, lupine and tall hollihocks
Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, blue forget-me-nots
In an English country garden.

There's something very calming about a walk through a garden after lunch. Unfortunately as I don't have a balcony, let alone a plot of land, I often need to let my green thumb wander through the pages of a book. Today, it was "Italian Gardens" written by Georgina Masson and published by Thames and Hudson in 1961. With 211 black and white images that cover gardens dating from Roman and Medieval times to more recent ages this is true escapism. These are gardens which reflect a sense of grandeur...with statues, grottoes, theatres, mazes, fountains and immense "water features" of such scope that would make Charlie Dimmock have a seizure...they're all here and all strangely more compelling and haunting in black and white than they could ever hope to be in color. Like the settings for one of Fellini's films except these are real and hopefully one day I will get to visit them...properly dressed, of course, a la Claudia Cardinale in 8½.

Hadrian's Villa -
The Canpous Canal from the entrance, as it must have appeared to the Emperor Hadrian's guests arriving for a banquet in the triclinium at the far end.

On the left, the Villa Il Bozzolo Casalzuigno and on the right, the Villa Corsi Salviati.

And finally, my personal favorite...the mysterious garden of the Villa Orsini at Bomarzo, which dates from the second half of the sixteenth century. The villa was a medieval stronghold which was converted into a Renaissance villa...the gardens were laid out in the valley below and the natural stone outcrops were sculpted into giant figures. The wood which surrounded the garden has vanished but the mist in these images evokes some of the mystery that must have existed when the gardens were in their original state...


Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • Maria said...
    7:51 PM
    OGH that is a lost world ...
    Gardens as forests...
  • 2:22 AM
    It cannot have effect in actual fact, that is what I think.

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