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  • Villa Melzi d'Eril | Terrimago

    LOMBARDY VILLA MELZI GARDENS The geometrical taste of green Photographs Cristina Archinto Text Carla De Agostini I t was in 1808 that Francesco Melzi d'Eril, Duke of Lodi, Grand Councillor, Keeper of the Seals of the Kingdom of Italy and a personal friend of Napoleon's, decided to build his summer residence at Bellagio on land with a stupendous view of Lake Como. Thus Villa Melzi and its gardens were created, taking advantage of the natural terraces and the variety of views in which it is immersed, playing on the curved paths that cross the property throughout its extension and connect the points of interest, the architectural furnishings and the numerous sculptures with historical and mythological subjects placed among the rich vegetation. At the entrance to the property, in the direction of Bellagio, one reaches a small area laid out as an oriental garden, with a characteristic pond, surrounded by Japanese maples and camellias that create a brightly coloured ensemble. The garden alternates majestic century-old trees with exotic and rare species, grouped in wooded patches, planted in rows along the shore or isolated in the grassy carpet. The refined taste for the exotic that characterises the Villa Melzi Gardens finds its most graceful expression in the numerous species of historic camellias, now about 250, that can be admired in the park, especially near the two entrances, at Loppia and Bellagio. Many of them were born from seed and are mostly related to the main species of Camelia japonica, but a large number are cultivars of great historical-botanical interest, created in the nineteenth century. Villa Melzi also picks up the tradition of topiary art, which in Italy reached excellence in the late Renaissance. At that time, the taste and sensibility of Humanism, whose philosophy is based on the idea of Promethean man and his triumph over nature, inspired the creation of gardens carefully subordinated to the geometry of forms, then the rediscovery of the ars topiary with its pruning techniques to shape plants into decorative forms. This style has its roots in Roman times, with an influence from Greek art, when, in other words, thanks to the Empire, cultural trends were reunited and intertwined in the service of a new aesthetic. The first experiments were carried out in the new gardens of suburban villas, desired by aristocratic families. The Roman garden acquired an interweaving of poetry, sculpture and Hellenic painting, which gave rise to a truly new landscape composition, which would later become the basis of the Italian garden. In the gardens of Villa Melzi, symmetries can be appreciated, not only for their geometric taste but also to celebrate the beauty of the essential characteristics of nature itself: not only gardening but art, through the precise choice of colours and shapes, such as the umbrella pruning of the plane trees or the particular positioning of centuries-old trees and exotic species, where Ginkgo biloba, red beeches or camphor trees enhance the view around them, together with shrubs, rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. Love and precision stand out at Villa Melzi, in the care of the greenery, in the architectural variety of parapets, balustrades, marble busts, in the galleries of citrus trees, which create an unusual and fascinating play of geometries, in which to lose oneself without paying attention to the passing of time. THE CAMALLIA IN HISTORY In Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera , the protagonist Fermina Daza refuses the camellia offered to her by Florentino saying that "it is a flower that pledges". And it was precisely as a pledge of love that camellias arrived in Italy in 1760, a gift from Admiral Nelson to Lady Emma Hamilton, who had them planted in the garden of the Royal Palace of Caserta. Very similar to the rose and large in size, the flowers of the camellia originate in China and Japan and belong to the Theaceae family. Ornamental camellias were immediately considered a rarity destined for the few, a display not only of power but also of refined tastes. Over time, the history of this flower has taken on many facets and meanings, but the most widespread is undoubtedly the symbol of love, devotion and esteem. The camellia achieved great fame with Alexandre Dumas' novel The Lady with the Camellias , first published in 1848, in which Marguerite Gautier was inspired by the courtesan Marie Duplessis, who used to pin a white or red camellia on her dress, depending on the season. This fashion shared by both men and women soon became a classy detail on the lapels of gentlemen and in the hair of ladies, and would remain pinned to their necklines for a long time. In 1923 Coco Chanel took to the catwalk for the first time dresses with broches (brooches) of white chiffon camellias, modelled on the Camelia japonica Alba plena , whose structure of overlapping petals is thought to have suggested to her the double C cross; in those same years Proust called them camélia à la boutonnière (Camellia in the buttonhole). Over time, the camellia went from being a flower of nobility and luxury to being more democratic, but in gardens it still retains its air of a refined flower. GALLERY Photo ©CRISTINA ARCHINTO LINK Official website More Gardens and Parks Parco giardini di Sicurtà Parco giardini di Sicurtà Gairdino di Villa Lante Villa Lante parco del Flauto Magico Parco Flauto Magico Bomarzo Parco Villa la Grange Labirinto della Masone Giardino di Kenroku-en Giardino dell'impossibile

  • Pitigliano Tuff City | Terrimago

    TOSCANY "Vie Cave" by CARLA DE AGOSTINI Pitigliano, together with Sovana and Sorano, is one of Tuscany's tuff cities. This charming mediaeval town, which stands on a steep spur of tufa, dominates the surrounding valleys from above, where the Prochio and Meleta rivers flow into the Lente. Originally a small independent duchy during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, it has come to be considered the little Jerusalem of the Maremma due to the pivotal role the Jews played in the life of the town, and because it has always been a centre of refuge in Central Italy. The earliest settlement probably originated in the 16th century by the Orsini counts. ​ In the valley that surrounds it, there are the Vie Cave, paths carved into the tufa along rocky slopes of volcanic origin, unique works of great historical and cultural importance that date back to the Etruscans. In Pitigliano alone, there are at least a dozen Vie cave, including the Pantano and San Lorenzo, which all vary in size. Up to a kilometre long, these paths are between two to four metres wide and up to twenty-five metres high. These winding and often interconnected paths are a mystery to scholars as there are no precise answers as to their use. Some hypothesise a sacred and funerary use, others claim they were connecting roads, defensive systems or even water drainage works. To date, the thesis on funerary routes seems to be the most widely accepted, because the semi-underground routes tend to coincide with the crossing of a necropolis. At the time of the Etruscans, the Vie Cave were lower, but as their use diversified, and they were increasingly used as shortcuts between villages and valleys, they became deeper and deeper. In fact, it has been calculated that the route that can be taken today is often more than ten metres lower. This difference is most probably due to various reconstruction works carried out over time, including further excavations to regularise the erosion of the road surface, which had been worn down and made uneven, particularly by the trampling of pack animals' hooves. As you walk along these paths, you can read the history of the place through signs left over time. You can find tombs and engravings from the Etruscan period, mediaeval inscriptions or signs of water regulation, dating up to the Christian era. Also present are the residues of "scacciadiavoli": niches containing sacred images that were intended to reassure travellers. But that's not all, there are signs testifying to pagan rites that have become traditional over time, such as the celebration of the 19th of March in the Via Cava di San Giuseppe: the event consisting of a night-time procession, during which burning bundles are carried to celebrate the arrival of spring. Another peculiarity is the microclimate produced between these vertiginous walls. In some places, the foliage of the trees has formed a sort of vegetal roof that has favoured the growth of vegetation typical of damp and shady environments, such as ferns, mosses, lichens, ivy and lianas, which create suggestive plays of light and contribute to their charm. Trad.Greta Sanna GALLERY Photo @ Cristina Archinto Highlights MOSSES Mosses belong to the large family of Bryophytes, Bryophyta, and are very primitive organisms but of great interest for understanding the study of the evolution of terrestrial plants. Mosses, which lack of vascular tissue, absorb and transport water by capillary way present on the whole plant, this characteristic prevents its growth in height, developing instead in soft green carpets that we find on rocks and trunks, even vertically. Mosses absorb well rain water and air which they retain even in summertime and in woods they are fundamental because they help seeds which fall from trees to germinate. Moreover, they absorb great quantities of CO2 and they are fundamental for the safeguard of the ecosystem and for biodiversity. MORE ENVIRONMENT AND BOTANY Vie cave opuntia fiorita Opuntia Trees Caño Cristales Palmeti Palm trees Caldara di Manziana Steep land Tiber

  • Botanical Garden of Berlin | terrimago

    GERMANY BERLIN BOTANICAL GARDEN ​ The World in a Garden Photographs of Cristina Archinto Text Carla De Agostini and Noa Terracina T he Berlin Botanical Garden with its 43 hectares and 22,000 plant species is a botanical institution and one of the largest in the world. Founded in 1679 as a place for growing vegetables, it then moved to the Lichterfelde district and underwent a significant transformation into a landscape garden between 1897 and 1910 under the direction of Adolf Engler whose motto was 'the world in a garden' referring to plant geography. ​ In fact, in one third of the entire outdoor area of the garden the plants are arranged in a phytogeographical order, i.e. by geographical area , so walking through this area is like walking around the world among the different endemic habitats corresponding to the various countries of the world, from forests to prairies and from the mountains of the United States to those of Asia. In the rock gardens, for example, the Appalachians of the Atlantic slope and the Californian Pacific mountains are represented. Then there is the Anatolian Plateau and then the Himalayas, where the vegetation of both the western slope characterised by long monsoon rains and the eastern slope with even wetter months and visible differences have been reproduced. Then we end in Japan, where Prunus , Magnolias, and various types of forest can be recognised, with for example Cryptomeria japonica and Sophora japonica . ​ But there are other outdoor areas that are also very interesting, such as an arboretum, which groups trees according to their natural relationships, a specific garden that sharpens your sense of smell and touch with interesting common and uncommon aromatic plants, a medicinal plant garden with about 230 types of plants arranged according to areas of application for certain diseases, a small Italian garden, and also marshes and water gardens with 200 plants, some of which are endangered. Another very pleasant corner is the rose garden, which is very well maintained and has a remarkable collection of roses from all over the world . Finally, there is also the herbaceous plant zone, a research area that is also protected from visitors and contains some 80 endangered plants. But the real highlight is the huge Tropical Greenhouse, declared a World Heritage Site , which has been the symbol of the Botanical Garden for over a hundred years, a remarkable example of 19th century glass and steel architecture. Today, it is still one of the most impressive and largest free-standing greenhouses in the world, housing more than 1,400 plant species. Destroyed in the autumn of 1943 during the war, it was rebuilt a first time in the 1960s, but it is only thanks to the latest renovation in 2009 with technological materials that it has become a completely state-of-the-art facility, resulting in considerable energy savings, with peaks of up to 70% in the air-conditioning systems, which are crucial in the greenhouses. Divided into fourteen separate but all connected rooms, it has always been an enchantment for those who walk through it because of the overabundance of colourful plants and flowers of every type and species: from giant bamboos in the tropical greenhouse to ferns over 200 years old in the fern greenhouse to the orchid collection and carnivorous plants. Succulents from the tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World also have their own greenhouse, dominated by the candelabrum-shaped Euphorbia species and aloes with their large fleshy leaves. The neighbouring greenhouse, on the other hand, presents a landscape of New World succulents, where mainly overgrown cacti, but also species such as agaves and other Crassulacea e reside. The last arrival is the Victoria House, where in addition to the famous giant water lilies, such as the Victoria Amazonica , which with its imposing floating leaves can support a uniformly distributed weight of more than 100 kg, some species that, according to Frontiers Plants Biology, are endangered in certain parts of the world such as Bolivia due to the destruction of their habitat, are also studied here. Another place of excellence is the Botanical Museum added in 1905 to the Botanical Garden complex: unique of its kind in all of Central Europe, it preserves not only the precious heritage of the historic royal herbarium and the Berlin herbarium, but also studies focusing on the interactions of living organisms with soil chemistry, physics and hydrology. This approach was inherited from the research of Adolf Engler, famous for his approach to plant taxonomy, based on evolutionary schemes inspired by Charles Darwin, to which he added the importance of geographical distribution: the idea that plants adapt to climatic conditions, forming communities. In those years, the term biotope was soon to be used, i.e. minimum territorial units that allow the development of living organisms, plants and animals, with certain physical-chemical-climatic characteristics; a crucial concept for the development and knowledge of habitats, environmental climates and today's ecology. For this reason, a visit to the museum is dedicated not only to the ancestry of plants, types of vegetation and their different environments, but also to the influence of the environment and climatic conditions on plant morphology. The Berlin Botanical Garden is truly a crossroads of knowledge and biodiversity , a place of study and research, but also a place of hospitality for anyone who wants to stroll through it and breathe air from all over the world. There is no season that is not distinguished by its colours, scents, or scenery, and every excuse is good to drop by. FEATURED THE VICTORIA AMAZONICA The Victoria Amazonica is a name that conjures up those huge leaves floating on the water. But not everyone knows that it was the morphology of this unique water lily that inspired the Crystal Palace greenhouse at Kew in London in 1851, made of iron and glass. The idea starts from the strength of the leaf, whose ribs on the lower face, organised like a system of buttresses, can support up to 100 kg of evenly distributed weight. The rigid radially symmetrical centric leaves covered with strong spines are reinforced by several concentric and flexible ribs distributed in opposite directions, a morphological feature that recurs in the construction solution of the Crystal Palace. But the fascination of the Victorias does not stop there; their enormous flowers can reach up to 30 cm in diameter, and they only bloom for one day and two nights. On the first evening, at dusk, a large, thorn-covered bud opens and a white flower appears, which, thanks to a thermodynamic reaction, raises its internal temperature 11 degrees above the ambient temperature. This released heat and a pineapple-like scent attract beetles, which at dawn, when the flower closes, become trapped in it. But as they are not carnivorous plants, they do not die, but rather spend the day there feeding on the starch-rich floral appendages. On the second night the flower changes colour, and takes on shades of pink or red, and at dusk releases the insects, which, soaked in pollen, go on to fertilise another flower. At dawn on the second day, the flower withers, closes and dips, and it is there that the fruit ripens. Link Victoria Greenhouse GALLERY Photo ©CRISTINA ARCHINTO Info: Official website more botanical gardens and nurseries Orto botanico di Madrid Orto botanico di Amsterdam Orto botanico di Napoli Orto Botanico di Zurigo e la Serra Malgascia Giardino Botanico Nuova Gussonea Orto Botanico di Catania Orto Botanico di Ginevra Centro Botanico Moutan

  • Villa d'Este | Terrimago

    LAZIO TIVOLI ​ Villa d'Este Villa d’Este, masterpiece of the Italian Garden, is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. With its impressive concentration of fountains, nymphs, grottoes, plays of water, and music, it constitutes a much-copied model for European gardens in the mannerist and baroque styles. The garden is generally considered within the larger –and altogether extraordinary-- context of Tivoli itself: its landscape, art and history which includes the important ruins of ancient villas such as the Villa Adriana, as well as a zone rich in caves and waterfalls displaying the unending battle between water and stone. The imposing constructions and the series of terraces above terraces bring to mind the hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient world. The addition of water-- including an aqueduct tunneling beneath the city -- evokes the engineering skill of the Romans themselves. Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, after the disappointment of a failed bid for the papacy, brought back to life here the splendor of the courts of Ferrara, Rome and Fontainebleau and revived the magnificence of Villa Adriana. Governor of Tivoli from 1550, he immediately nurtured the idea of realizing a garden in the hanging cliffs of the “Valle gaudente”, but it was only after 1560 that his architectural and iconographic program became clear—brainchild of the painter-architect-archeologist Pirro Ligorio and realized by court architect Alberto Galvani. The rooms of the Palace were decorated under the tutelage of the stars of the late Roman Mannerism, such as Livio Agresti, Federico Zuccari, Durante Alberti, Girolamo Muziano, Cesare Nebbia and Antonio Tempesta. The work was almost complete at the time of the Cardinal’s death (1572). From 1605 Cardinal Alessandro d'Este gave the go-ahead to a new progam of interventions not only to restore and repair the vegetation and the waterworks, but also to create a new series of innovations to the layout of the garden and the decorations of the fountains. Other works were carried out from 1660 – 70; these involved no less a figure than Gianlorenzo Bernini. In the XVIIIth century the lack of maintenance led to the decay of the complex, which was aggravated by the property’s passage to the House of Hapsburg. The garden was slowly abandoned, the water works-- no longer used--fell into ruin, and the collection of ancient statues— enlarged under Cardinal Ippolito, was disassembled and scattered. This state of decay continued without interruption until the middle of the XIXth century, when Gustav Adolf von Hohenlohe, who obtained in enfiteusi the villa from the Dukes of Modena in 1851, launched a series of works to pull the complex back from its state of ruin. Between 1867 and 1882 the Villa once again became a cultural point of reference, with the Cardinal frequently hosting the musician Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886), who composed Giochi d'acqua a Villa d'Este for piano while a guest here, and who in 1879 gave one of his final concerts. At the outbreak of the first world war the villa became a property of the Italian State, and during the 1920s it was restored and opened to the public. Another, radical restoration was carried out immediately after the Second World War to repair the damage caused by the bombing of 1944. Due to particularly unfavorable environmental conditions, the restorations have continued practically without interruption during the past twenty years (among these it is worth noting the recent cleaning of the Organ Fountain and also the “Birdsong.”) Gallery 1/1 Photo ©CRISTINA ARCHINTO Info: more gardens and parks Parco del Paterno del Toscano Villa Lante Labirinto della Masone Giardino dell'impossibile Giardino di Ninfa Villa Pizzo Castello di Masino Parchi di Parigi

  • Geneva Botanic Garden | Terrimago

    SWITZERLAND THE CONSERVATORY AND BOTANICAL GARDEN OF GENEVA BY LIVIA DANESE The Conservatory and Botanical Garden of Geneva is a major institution for botanical research, conservation and development. It was founded in 1817 and was since then transferred to Parc de l’Ariana and opened to the public in 1904. The Garden hosts over 16000 different species of plants, trees and shrubs which are organized according to their habitat and marked with information panels. Geneva’s Botanical Garden is also appreciated today as a leisure park. The free entrance and the recreation areas allow anyone to rest and enjoy the tranquility of nature, while not leaving the city. The Garden organizes many different activities to introduce the visitors to nature and botany: one of the most relished is the Garden of smell and touch where people can interact with the plants which are chosen for their perfume and tactile interest. Some services, such as the picnic area, the playground and the small zoo, which also aids indigenous and endangered animals, are especially meant for families and children to enjoy. In short, the organization of the Botanical Garden is not only dedicated to the study and conservation of the flora but is also committed to guaranteeing visitors an all-round entertaining experience.The greenhouses too are arranged to show the many different ecosystems of the world and accompany visitors in an ideal journey through exotic surroundings. The Tropical Greenhouses are organized in four sections: the main greenhouse is dedicated to a range of species adapted to high temperature and humidity conditions, such as the giant water lilies. The second section reproduces the Canaries Island’s volcanic landscape with cacti and succulent plants growing on dark soil and lava rocks. The Bromilaceae greenhouse showcases a very interesting collection of Tillandsias which are referred to as “airplants” because they have no roots and derive their nutrients form moist, air and rain. The last section displays plants form tropical mountain areas. The Temperate house with its characteristic neoclassical glass dome contains Mediterranean type vegetation from around the world. A central staircase provides access to a high gallery which offers an impressive overall view. Finally the Victorian style Winter Garden is particularly noteworthy. Built in 1911, its elegant structure testifies the influence of the Industrial revolution on its glass and steel architecture. Today it houses an impressive collection of useful plants and a selection of tropical species. GALLERY Info: Official website Photo ©CRISTINA ARCHINTO more botanical gardens and nurseries Giardino Botanico Nuova Gussonea Orto Botanico di Catania Orto Botanico di Ginevra Centro Botanico Moutan Orto Botanico di Palermo Roseto di Roma Chicago Batanical Garden Parco Botanico Villa Rocca

  • Rome Botanical Garden | Terrimago

    LAZIO ROME'S BOTANIC GARDEN Enchantment of lights Photos and text by Cristina Archinto Since dawn of time, light has always fascinated man because it represents the supreme power to light darkness. First, of course, it was fire that illuminated and defended man, then Edison brought light into homes with mass production of lamps and electricity, although he was not the actual inventor. Today we have somewhat lost the ability to 'see in the dark' and in the absence of daylight we are used to have everything illuminated, but despite this we continue to be attracted by its power and light sources manage to excite like few things in the world. By activating special cognitive abilities, light excites, impresses and generally creates well-being, perhaps also linked to that hidden primordial memory, and brings us to a sense of harmony with our surroundings. Moreover, if a light source, perhaps coloured, is also associated with a sound flow, such as a piece of music, an almost tactile sensation is evoked by 'feeling' the light. This is more or less what happens at the sensory art exhibition at the Botanical Garden of Rome Incanto di luci (Enchantment of light). A one and a half kilometre long light art path conceived by light designer Andreas Boehlke, with evocative music by composer and sound designer Burkhard Fincke; works that tell in an artistic way some corners of this wonderful place. The installations, with LED bulbs for minimal environmental impact, bring us a completely different botanical garden, we can really say in a different light. Trees and plants in sumptuous colours, meadows full of flashing lights or balls that light up in a thousand different shades of colours, stairways carpeted with fireflies or luminous silhouettes of reindeer grazing among the bushes, and more. Certainly for nature or the garden lovers itself everything gives a strange effect, seeing blue palms and green fountains or lawns covered in red lights is extravagant, but it must be said, in certain cases, these artistic works can also amplify certain flavours , as in the bamboo forest, where moving green rays 'cut' clean through, like samurai warrior blades, those marvellous trunks. In other cases, perhaps the enchantment is unnatural, such as the lotus blossoms lying on the pond in the Japanese Garden being unappreciative, but on the other hand the coloured lights all around make the beautiful maples stand out. Some luminescent works mainly enchant children like the tree fairies or Tinker Bell's wings, but in general one breathes mostly enthusiasm and amazement, and the amount of mobile phones one sees swirling in the air ready to spread this into the ether is proof of this. I must admit that I, too, had a lot of fun photographing a place that in theory I knew very well but which was completely turned upside down. Lights appearing and disappearing, changing colours, trees taking different shapes because they were perhaps lit from below and not from above, stimulated my creativity a lot. Of course, for what we can define as 'the culture of greenery and nature', I am not sure that all this will have a positive impact, but certainly the very high turnout gives hope that perhaps even some of them will remember this magical place next spring and return to enjoy it in its most natural aspect. Photo ©CRISTINA ARCHINTO More botanic gardens and nurseries Vivai cuba Orto Botanico di Berlino Orto botanico di Madrid Orto botanico di Amsterdam Orto botanico di Napoli Giardino Botanico Nuova Gussonea Orto Botanico di Catania Orto Botanico di Ginevra

  • Villa Pergola | Terrimago

    LIGURIA VILLA PERGOLA'S GARDENS TALES FROM THE WORLD Photographs Cristina Archinto Text Carla De Agostini T his year, the Gardens of Villa della Pergola are officially The Most Beautiful Park in Italy , winning this prize among more than a thousand private parks, and indeed it is of unparalleled beauty: here wisteria of every shape and colour, flowers and trees from all over the world alternate on a unique view overlooking the entire Gulf of Alassio. One of the terraces V illa Pergola is a rare example of an Anglo-Mediterranean garden. It was created in the second half of the 1870s by the taste of General Montagu McMurdo and his wife Lady Susan Sarah Napier, who fell in love with the place and chose to maintain the classic Ligurian terracing of the previous farm and add palm trees and cypresses. Between 1900 and 1903, the estate was bought by Walter Hamilton Dalrymple and in 1922 by Daniel, son of Thomas Hambury, creator of the famous Hanbury Botanical Gardens at Mortola, not far away. To him we owe the scenic pergolas covered with wisteria and the many exotic cacti, agaves, aloes and eucalyptus trees. After a period of neglect and decay, the Gardens were restored in 2006 by Paolo Pejrone, together with Silvia Arnaud Ricci, to whom we owe the creation of the botanical collection of wisteria with 34 varieties and that of agapanthus, today the most important in Europe with almost 500 different species. The area of succulents T he visit to the garden is accompanied by the stories of a passionate guide. The tour begins with the succulents, where the crestate variety stands out and the eye is immediately caught by the 'monster', the Trichocereus bridgesii monstruosus , whose Mexican legend tells how one only by looking at the plant while eating any food can have strong hallucinations. Then there are several agaves, including the white agave and the very interesting Myrtillocactus whose fruits are edible and similar to blueberries. The citrus collection P assing along one of the oldest wisteria, one arrives at the terracing of citrus trees with more than 40 species, from which the villa's own restaurant draws to make its dishes. Here you get lost among the most diverse forms of citrus fruits and aromas; next to the classic mandarins, oranges, lemons and citrons, there are very special varieties, from the lumpy peel to the unexpected shapes that seem to come out of a storybook. Like the Buddha's Hand Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus , a very fragrant and fascinating lemon that belongs to the citron family. Born from a genetic malformation, it is devoid of pulp and each wedge develops and defines itself as a unit in its own right, almost as if it were divided from the others. In India, it is easy to find it at the foot of Buddha statues in temples as a votive offering from the faithful like two joined hands in prayer, hence the name. Then there is the Japanese Citrus tachibana one of Japan's only two citrus fruits. Originally from China, the Tachibana underwent several mutations to become a Japanese citrus cultivar, genetically isolated from the original. Officially classified as an endangered species by the Ministry of the Environment in Tokyo, the Tachibana is in the unique position of being ubiquitous in Japanese iconography but at the same time unknown to contemporary Japanese due to its rarity. In fact, most people encounter it daily, engraved on 500 yen coins but have never seen it in real life. Historically a sacred and respected flower, in the Heian period (794-1185), aristocratic women perfumed themselves by tucking bags of Tachibana flowers into the sleeves of their kimonos or threading the fruit into strings to wear as bracelets. The Cypress Avenue T he walk continues along the green avenue of agapanthus that leads to the most romantic area of the garden where, in the restorative shade of palm trees and giant white-flowered strelitzias, is the water lily fountain, surrounded by putti covered with Ficus Repens designed by Sir Dalrymple. Along the higher terracing begins the avenue of monumental cypress trees that frame the panoramic view, until you reach the waterfall scrub where there is a rocky pond and the prehistoric Wollemia nobilis, a very rare conifer rediscovered in Australia in 1994 by the forester David Noble, very few specimens exist today, mainly in botanical gardens. Putti covered with ficus repens Blue and white wisteria arbour The grove alternates between common myrtles and some ancient myrtles brought from Sicily, and scenically landed by helicopter under the direction of Paolo Pejrone himself. At the end of this itinerary, one encounters the delicate Australian bluebells, used in phytotherapy as a remedy "to open the doors of the heart, to those who live with suffering in their sentimental sphere". Under the terracing of the cottage are the lotus pools. As a reminder of the Hanbury's links with the East, there is a statue of a dragon, similar to the one in the Hanbury Botanical Gardens, an embodiment of the elemental spirit of water, protecting against rain and drought. On the sides of the cottage, close to the walls, double-blooming hybrid wisteria, known as Violacea Plena, have been planted, enriching the pergola with a deep purple hue. The path ends with a marble staircase surrounded by large leaves of farfugium japinicum and a pergola of flowering wisteria providing shade, with breathtaking views of the gulf. WISTERIA The Germans call it blauregen 'blue rain', the Chinese zi teng 'blue vine' and in Italian its name derives from the Greek glikis meaning 'sweet', due to the fragrance of its flowers. Its current scientific name is thanks to Captain Welbank who in 1816, not knowing that Carl Linnaeus had already classified it as Glycine in 1724, brought the plant to Europe christening it Wistaria in honour of Professor Caspar Wistar, but during its spread in English-speaking countries it was mispronounced as Wisteria. Its fast-growing properties and tendency to expand rapidly have resulted in a Guinness World Record specimen in the Sierra Madre in California: at the peak of its flowering, the wisteria has up to 1.5 million buds, with a total weight of 250 tonnes! The spiral growth of both clockwise and counter-clockwise flower clusters is associated with human consciousness expanding outwards from an inner vital core in an attempt to influence the world around it. GALLERY Photo ©CRISTINA ARCHINTO LINK Official website More Gardens and Parks I giardini di Villa Melzi I giardini di Villa Melzi Parco giardini di Sicurtà Parco giardini di Sicurtà Gairdino di Villa Lante Villa Lante parco del Flauto Magico Parco Flauto Magico Bomarzo Parco Villa la Grange Labirinto della Masone Giardino di Kenroku-en

  • Max10Shots | Terrimago

    PHOTOGRAPHY MAX 10 SHOTS Nowadays it is possible to take a thousand photos for the price of one, and so for fear of losing even a single detail we find ourselves overwhelmed by too many pixels which, when put together, no longer reflect the focus of our story. Max 10 shots aims to emphasise that, if the photographs are relevant and have a strong subjective connotation, even 10 shots are enough for a good photographic story. WILTSHIRE - United Kindom ENGLISH LANDSCAPES Oscar Wilde used to say: "Everyone can be good in the country", and he was right. Especially when it comes to the English countryside, or rather the countryside. The greenery, or rather the complex of greenery, the fences, the sheep, the rows of trees, the lonely houses, the fields with their groves and small streams, are an exhausting source of true natural pleasure. ​ To give depth to a "flat landscape" it is useful to have one or more vanishing points, perhaps with the help of a fence or path campge inglesi GROSSETO - Toscany TUSCAN HILLS When you walk through the hills of Grosseto, you always have the impression that you are being watched by the majestic oaks that stand out against the blue sky between a field of olive trees, a field of pasture or vineyards. They are wonderful sentinels in the rolling Tuscan hills. ​ To portray trees well, it is important to have a neutral background such as the sky colline toscane CORNIGLIA/VERNAZZE - Liguria A WALK IN THE CINQUE TERRE The walks along the paths between one village and another in the Cinque Terre are a succession of highs and lows, olive groves, flower-filled meadows, dry stone walls, overhanging paths and breathtaking views of the entire coastline. "A theatre whose proscenium opens onto the void, on the strip of sea high against the sky crossed by winds and clouds", is how Italo Calvino described the Cinque Terre. ​ To tell the story of a landscape, one must learn to look at it from several angles, perhaps even from behind. Cinqu terre ASSISI-Umbria THE FOREST OF SAN FRANCESCO In Assisi, among the silence and beauty of woods, flowering branches, glades and olive groves, stands the San Francesco's wood. An evocative place of pilgrimage but also of reflection on the peaceful coexistence between man and nature, inspired by the teachings of harmony of St. Francis. And it is here that Michelangelo Pistoletto created "Third Paradise ", a work of Land Art with olive trees. "The two outer circles, " Pistoletto writes, "represent all the diversities and antinomies, including nature and artifice. The central one is the interpenetration between the opposite circles and represents the generative womb of the new humanity". ​ Maintaining the same colour tones in several photographs is a bonding element in a service bosco disan francesco Lazio CALDARA OF MANZIANA A lunar plain, with some geysers of sulphurous water, which gently plunges into a basin surrounded by fascinating birches. The day was particularly sunny, with a beautiful clear light and the white of the trunks with the brown of the resting ferns, made an intense contrast with the full blue sky. The trees in the grove were almost all straight as spindles, more or less all of the same size, every now and then one could see a fallen one that suddenly cut this graphic rhythm in two as if it were one of those abstract paintings from the 60s. When you looked up, the delicate foliage of the birch melted into the blue of the sky and only the fruits in the shape of pendulous cones and perhaps a few sporadic leaves remained there alone were visible. At the bottom of the basin flowed this river with an indescribable color that went from blue to red and finally to white, where the white trunks created soft reflections as if they had been painted on a canvas. Knowing that birch trees are not normally found at this latitude gave this landscape even more a touch of magic as well as unique. ​ Seeing nature abstractly Caldara ROME-Lazio ROSE GARDEN Some shots taken at the rose garden in Rome The Rose Garden is home to around 1,100 varieties of ancient and modern botanical roses from all over the world. The cultivated specimens come from all over the world: from the Far East to South Africa, from Old Europe to New Zealand, passing through the Americas. ​ Blur the background, opening the lens wide and automatically increasing the time a lot, makes the flowers stand out a lot Roseto TURIN-Piedmont VALENTINO PARK The Valentino park develops along the banks of the Po river and has a great variety of trees. In autumn the colors are remarkable especially at the first light of the day, when the sun is cutting and slips into it the trees, or rests on the crowns of trees. ​ Shoot against the sun using natural elements to filter the light parco del vlentino

  • Pallanca | Terrimago

    LIGURIA BORDIGHERA Pallanca Exotic garden Bartolomeo Pallanca’s passion for horticulture matched, if not surpassed, that of his father who was an olive grower by trade. Both men worked for Winter, and in 1910 Bartolomeo Pallanca founded his very own “Stabilimento Orticolo Floreale” nursery. One part of the business specialized in ornamental plants and cut flowers, and the other in cacti and succulents, which were shipped to half of Europe’s botanical gardens. After the war, this became the core business for the nursery. Four generations dedicated their existence to the cultivation, acclimatization and flowering of succulent plants. Nowadays it is one of the most interesting collections for fans and scholars alike. More than 3,000 different varieties and specimens from all corners of the Earth are distributed by the area of origin and form a living map portraying nature’s infinite grace through which rock formations are colonized. Pallanca exotic garden Photo ©CRISTINA ARCHINTO Info: More botanical gardens and nurseries Orto Botanico di Ginevra Orto Botanico di Ginevra Centro Botanico Moutan Orto Botanico di Palermo Roma Roseto di Roma Parco Botanico Villa Rocca Water Nursery Giardino Botanico di Hanbury

  • Meise botanical Garden | Terrimago

    Bruxelles Meise Botanical Garden Photographs and text by CrisTina Archinto A part of the forest with a carpet of Allium ursinum At the Meise Botanical Garden, also known as Jardin botanique Meise which is located about 10 km northwest of Brussels, Belgium, you walk, walk and walk again! It is currently the largest botanical garden in the world and at the end of the day you feel all those kilometers but they were worth it. ​ Its history is quite ancient, it begins in 1796 when the Austrian government decided to create a botanical garden at the castle of Bouchout, in Meise. The main focus of the garden was to grow medicinal and food plants. Over the following centuries, the botanical garden developed considerably, also thanks to the collaboration with the University of Louvain, until it became the National Botanical Garden of Belgium. Today it covers an area of 92 hectares and is home to over 18,000 plant species from all over the world, many of which are kept in the garden's greenhouses. In addition, the garden carries out important biodiversity research and conservation activities, working in collaboration with other botanical institutions around the world. Rododendron Fortunei and Rododendron Gladis rose Entering the forest, the first enchantment is in front of the vast collection of azaleas and rhododendrons located in the shade of centuries-old specimen trees. This collection has ancient origins and is one of the most important in Europe, including many rare and endangered species from all over the world. The first azalea was planted at the Botanical Garden in 1796, but the real expansion of the collection took place under the direction of Édouard Morren, from 1869 to 1892, who made many botanical expeditions to Asia, Africa and America, where he collected numerous azalea and rhododendron plants. In addition, Morren was a pioneer in the creation of azalea hybrids, achieving results that earned him numerous prizes at international botanical fairs. Today, this collection comprises more than 2,500 species and varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons. During flowering, which usually takes place between April and May, there is this explosion of colours in various shades of pink, red, purple and white. A true visual experience. the Botanical Garden also organised an annual azalea festival, during which guided tours, lectures and other activities focusing on azaleas and rhododendrons are organised. Azaleas and rhododendrons The scientific name of the genus of azaleas, Rhododendron, was given only in 1753 by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who classified the plants in detail in his "Species Plantarum". The name "azalea" instead, derives from the Greek "azaleos", which means "dry", and refers to the ability of plants to tolerate dry soils. ​ Azaleas and rhododendrons, even if they are plants belonging to the same botanical family, that of the Ericaceae, have many differences between them such as flowering: azaleas have funnel-shaped flowers with five lobes, while rhododendrons have bell-shaped flowers with ten lobes. As for the leaves, those of azaleas are generally smaller and thinner than those of rhododendrons. Additionally, azalea leaves tend to be softer and lighter. Even the natural habitats are different: that of the azaleas are usually native to wooded areas of the temperate and subtropical regions of Asia, Europe and North America, while the rhododendrons are more common in the mountainous regions of East Asia, North America and Europe. The difference is also in the size; rhododendrons tend to be larger and slower growing than azaleas. The winter greenhouse The Meise Botanical Garden is also home to a large collection of trees from around the world, many of which are of significant rarity, beauty or cultural significance. Like the Giant Sequoia trees native to California which are among the largest trees in the world. Ginkgo biloba is an ancient tree that has been described as a living fossil and has a long history of medicinal use. The Atlas Cedar is a tree native to North Africa that is known for its resistance to drought and environmental degradation. And the Wollemi Pine a tree that was discovered only in 1994 and was believed to be extinct for over 90 million years. Egyptian Geese The current greenhouse, also known as the "winter greenhouse", was built between 1952 and 1958. It was an innovative structure and had to replace the old greenhouse destroyed by the war, with a heating system based on geothermal energy and a natural ventilation system which allowed the humidity to be controlled inside the greenhouse. The winter greenhouse now houses a large collection of tropical and subtropical plants, including many rare and endangered species, including many species of Araceae, such as Colocasia gigantea. In addition to the winter greenhouse, the Meise Botanical Garden also houses other specialized greenhouses, including greenhouses for carnivorous plants, orchids and palms. Walking through the vast garden you can also reach an artificial lake, an important breeding and rest area for numerous species of migratory birds such as the Egyptian geese (Alopochen aegyptica), originally from sub-Saharan Africa. This goose is a large bird, its wingspan is up to one and a half meters. They have a distinctive black head and neck, grayish-brown plumage on the body and a white tail and live happily in large groups often near fresh water like here, and are beautiful to look at. GALLERY Photos ©CRISTINA ARCHINTO Info: Official website Other GARDENS and PARKS Giardino di Villandry Giardini di Villandry Giardini Botanici di Villa Taranto Giardini Botanici di Villa Taranto I giardini di Villa Melzi I giardini di Villa Melzi Parco giardini di Sicurtà Parco giardini di Sicurtà Gairdino di Villa Lante Villa Lante parco del Flauto Magico Parco Flauto Magico Bomarzo Parco Villa la Grange

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