Garden

Saturday, November 15th, 2014
fall italian gardens
  Days become shorter, the breeze begins feeling fresher and the sunlight changes, prompting even us humans to begin sensing nature surrendering to the changing season. The once fresh, green leaves on the trees, slowly begin turning into an array of butter yellows, reds, coppers and a whole host of colors that symbolize the arrival of the Fall. But what creates these colors: do they just suddenly decide to change all at once by chance, or is there a rational and
Sunday, May 11th, 2014
mulberry trees, gelsi
In almost every authentic Tuscan garden one can find an ancient Mulberry (or 'Gelso' or 'Moro') tree, with a large canopy and very thick, gnarled trunk. This curious tree can grow for eighty to a hundred years or more and in Tuscany the mulberry's large canopy is always pruned drastically every year to promote the growth of proliferate, green leaves. These leaves would then have been sold to the silk industry to provide food for the voracious silk-worm, in order to satisfy the huge demand for
Monday, April 28th, 2014
Italian Gardens: Tradition and Beauty People from the world over visit formal Italian gardens, i giardini Italiani, known for their grandiose yet tranquil ambience. Be it one of the finest Italian Renaissance gardens at Villa Lante in Rome, the renowned garden surrounding Palazzo Giusti with its cypress-lined avenues, or the statue and fountain-filled Giardino di Boboli in Florence, traditional Italian gardens are some of the most respected all over Europe and the world. A Formal Italian
Sunday, March 16th, 2014
vegetable garden
  Anyone who was lucky enough to witness the infamous "Chelsea flower show", in Spring in the heart of London, will have witnessed the unprecedented increase in the use of vegetables in the ornamental garden i.e. pea plants growing, delicately up wrought-iron supports, ornamental pumpkins and squashes sprawling, boldly through flower borders or dainty, yellow coloured lettuce filling gaps amongst other, more favoured flower border plantings. Well, in recent years, the vegetable garden and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Facts, Cultivation and History of One of Italy's Most Famous Trees Cypress trees in group in Tuscany The Cypress Tree Latin Name: Cupressus sempervirens Country of Origin: Persia/Syria Height: 20 to 25m Uses: Windbreak, furniture/coffin making, essential oil production and decorative use. PROFILE: One cannot think of Tuscany without thinking of the magnificent cypress tree, so quintessential and symbolic
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Garden Design Service ecoLogica: Italian Garden Design Online Tuscan gardens and Tuscan style in general have taken the modern gardening world by storm. The style and natural philosophy involved in making a Tuscan garden both lend themselves rather well to modern attitudes regarding ecology and living close to nature.   Although making a Tuscan-style garden has become the dream of many avante garde couples, it is still way beyond the financial reaches of
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Moths that seem like Hummingbirds I have been asked, time and time again, "What's that? Is it a hummingbird?" by the guests that come and stay at our holiday houses here in Tuscany. They were all referring to a curious creature that flits, with great speed, from flower to flower and hovers, effortlessly, while its long proboscis (feeding tube) reaches deep into the flowers of nectar-bearing plants... hummingbird moth The elusive creature is in
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Gardens in Italy Jonathan Radford's Approach ecoLogica: How many times have we found ourselves breaking our backs in the garden, in order to sustain our dream of creating and maintaining a perfectly green and ordered, 'English-style' garden, convinced that we are getting closer to nature in the process. The difficult tasks performed to bring such a garden into being generally include; the excavation and removal of poor, apparently worthless soil, the preparation of lawns
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Colour Schemes for Italian Gardens bee on lavender Ever wondered why a field of bright red poppies look so stunning against the light green grass of a Tuscan field in early summer, or why the deep blue flowers of the Florentine flag Iris look so spectacular set against their spiky, grey-green foliage, or why Lavender never fails to stun with its beauty? Well, believe it or not there is actually a scientific reason as to why certain plants attract the eye more
Friday, June 1st, 2012
A Fine Grey-leaved Plant for Italian Gardens Feijoa sellowiana or Acca sellowiana, also known as the 'Pineapple guava' is an evergreen shrub or small tree that can grow to a maximum height of 6m in the right conditions. Although fully hardy, it does require full sun and long, hot summers to mature fully and produce it's egg-shaped, edible fruits. It has grey-green leaves with a white, downy underside, which can become an attractive feature on windy days when
Friday, June 1st, 2012
A Hidden Renaissance Palace in Tuscany palace in italy The area surrounding Montalcino has been famed for centuries by artists and poets for its beautiful yet peaceful landscapes, comprising of soft rolling valleys and lightly peppered with olive groves and vineyards of superior quality. In fact the Rosso di Montalcino has long been heralded as being the prince amongst the many splendid red-wines that Southern Tuscany has to offer, which, along with the infamous Vino
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How Italian Gardeners Use The Moon Since time began human beings have been fascinated and bewildered by the presence of the ever changing ephemeral moon that has been a constant presence and sensual mystery in the night sky. From when humans began cultivating their own crops they noted the subtle yet important effect that the moon had upon the germination, growth and crop production of those vital crops. The Moon is the Earth's only natural
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Garden Works of Art As you are probably aware, the garden is becoming an ever-increasing interest among the young and old alike. Many of us are now investing nearly as much time and money in our gardens as we are in our houses, making it a booming industry. Landscaping, water features and lighting go a long way to add more interest and enhance the garden, but what about all those finishing touches that you would certainly add to your house. There are so many ideas to
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Design a Wildlife Garden in Italy Italian gardens are famed for the wonderful choice of plants that can be found within them, from the vibrant hot colors of Mediterranean plants to the softer pastels of classical roses and lavender. Reams of books have covered the various plants that can be used, however, very little attention is given to the array of colors and just how interesting inviting wildlife into your Italian garden can be. Creating a natural
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Gardens and the Glowfly Fireflies, Glowflies, Lightning bugs and What They Do They get called glow flies, glow worms and lightening bugs but the Italian glow fly's real name is Lucciola italica and comes from the family Lampyridae, of which there around 2,000 different varieties in the temperate and tropical regions of the world. Italy has a rather large concentration of this species of glow fly, due to the fact there are still many intact
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Natural Control for Pests in Italian Gardens Pest control with small insects The weather here in Italy is lovely right now with glorious sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures- but we are not the only ones to make the most of it...! As spring advances the pests in Italian gardens are multiplying by the hour in our vegetable gardens and flower borders- and they really mean business! Hungry and voracious after a winter hibernating underground,
Friday, June 1st, 2012
An Ecosystem You Can Swim In! Imagine a fresh, clear-watered pool that contained water clean enough to drink yet also full of water lilies, rushes and a complete ecosystem living harmoniously together. Not only does the 'ecological', 'biological' or 'natural' swimming pool take all the complications out of the swimming pool building process, by avoiding the use of complicated filtering systems, but it also saves you a whole load of cash! With this natural
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Connecting Areas of the Italian Garden By now a rough idea of the final garden design should be emerging; you have hopefully decided on which style the garden will adopt, where your formal area will be, where you would like to create your garden rooms, informal areas etc and all based around one uniting theme or feel. Now all that's left to do on the garden plan is connect these different green spaces and garden rooms together, in a coherent and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Agro-alimentary Products Saved The Italian agro-alimentary products touched the summit of 4,255 units this year. These produces are obtained by traditional and antique methods, handed down through time on many agricultural farms which maintained "unaltered" ingredients and recipes in preparing 1,252 types of bread, pasta, and biscuits; 1,193 cultivated fresh vegetables, 716 salami, hams, fresh meats and sausages of various varieties -  456
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How to grow Lavender in Italy We all know that lavender is a beautiful plant and that it has a pleasant scent, however there is far more to discover about this wonderful plant... Lavandula is a genus of flowering plants of around 25 species, which curiously come from the mint family (Lamiaceae), the most widely used are the angustifolia and intermedia species. They can be found throughout the Mediterranean region, where they are native, down into Africa and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Strangers meeting becomes book sensation Many are the obscure dreams of the modern humans, however the aspiration of someday finding some quiet place in Tuscany and spending their days writing books about their everyday Tuscan experiences must feature quite high on that list. However few but the very richest amongst us have been able to realize this modern aspiration and turn this pipe dream into a plausible reality. However the droves of ex-pats that still flock to
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How Do Italians Garden? The image of an Englishman playing croquet on his lawn with a Pimms in his hand or an American sipping a diet Coke by the swimming pool in California are synonymous of how the gardeners of these countries enjoy their gardens, however have you ever wondered just how Italians ..."do" it? The Italian garden is just as well known for eating "al fresco" or for its beautiful Renaissance period, displaying enormous and elaborate works of genius like
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How to Use Iris Flowers in Italy colorful Iris flowers Members of the Iris family (Iridaceae) have sprung from almost every country- and every corner of this world can boast at having its own variety. But surely for most it must be Italy that springs to mind as the month of April arrives, with the old stone walls of Tuscany teeming with native blue species, in a region where the flower has come to symbolize much of their history. The Florentine Iris flower,
Friday, June 1st, 2012
A Stunning Floral Symbol of the Renaissance The Dahlia has been used in Italian gardens as a fine cut flower from the Renaissance onwards, however, it is also as strong a symbol of the discovery of the Americas as is the tomato, potato or the pineapple. A plant from the family Compositae and with stunning flowers, ranging from 2" (5.08cm) diameter to 1' (30.48cm) the Dahlia provides the cut-flower garden with virtually every colour in the colour range and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Useful Healing Herbs in Italy medicinal plant in italy When we think of the level of sanitation and medical care in Roman times we often imagine a somewhat dark age, where common ailments would manifest themselves into serious, life-threatening diseases with little hope of a cure and that human hygiene was rarely addressed. However the average Roman citizen would have had access to a wide range of homeopathic medicines from all over the world from their
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Useful Information on Growing Rosemary in your Garden Rosemary, that great Italian culinary herb that is listed in every Italian recipe, an aromatic herb that is used in almost every dish from Scotland to Rome. How though, does one grow the stuff? If you have ever created small herb garden, with the aim of using those herbs in Italian style cuisine, then you may have run in to some problems. "Why do my lavender, rosemary and Italian herbs always
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Corn Poppy in Italy tuscan poppies There can be few people who are unable to recall having seen a field of bright, blood-red poppies exploding en masse in May or the blazing impressionist paintings of Claude Monet.. Across the globe, from Egypt to North America, cultivated fields suddenly become dazzling swathes of an intense blood-red- in an instant and as if by magic! The variety of Papavero (poppy) that has become known as the 'Tuscan poppy
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Natural Control for Slugs in Italian Gardens Ever stumbled out in the morning from an all night party, only to find that your beloved Hostas or zucchini have been ravaged by a ravenous group of slugs and snails? green leaves slugs eat Well, if you have - you may have, like so many others, immediately sought revenge in the chemical cupboard of the garden shed. Intent on revenge you may have spread handfuls of slug-pellets all over the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Wildflowers by the Side of the Road A simple drive down an Italian country lane in early spring can reveal a whole host of natural surprises! Wild flowers that contain healing properties, glorious spring tulips, wild daffodils and onions await the intrepid, but lazy, plant hunter in Italy. We snapped up these shots of some remarkable Italian wild flowers and herbs on a short drive at the beginning of spring in the Italian countryside. We (my
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Advice on Designing an Italian Garden Room ecoLogica: Before finally deciding on a structural layout for your garden consider the idea of dividing up your green space into a series of 'Garden rooms'. Even the smallest of green spaces can de divided into smaller sections, which instantly create interest and provide the illusion that the space is actually larger than it really is! Large green spaces allow the garden designer to create
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Use of Art-Topiary in Italian Garden Design Italian garden design has always adopted the use of art topiary to establish strong, evergreen structure in the Italian garden. From the origins of the Italian garden, Italian garden designers have shaped evergreen plants into both symmetrical, obtuse and representational forms to highlight entrances, underline geometrical features or to accentuate angles etc. Even in Roman times plants were being formed into manmade
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Making a Lawn in Italian Gardens There can be nothing more disturbing for me as a garden designer than the sight of a green, English style lawn, in Italy. Ever since the onset of expensive computerized irrigation systems Italy has begun regarding the "English lawn" in Italy as a sort of status symbol, as one might for an expensive car or handbag- it seems that everyone just have to have one! For me personally the whole idea, reason and essence of
Friday, June 1st, 2012
There are at least thirty botanical gardens in Italy and every one of them is exquisite. Italy was a historical first in respect to botanical gardens. The Vatican garden in Rome was founded during the 13th century and the Salerno garden in the 14th century. Neither exists today, but many other botanical gardens can be found scattered across the country. Above Azalea at the Vatican Garden Originally, the function of botanical gardens was to display
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How to Save Water in Italian Gardens   There are many ways of saving water in the garden and many companies are now offering advanced silicon treatments and other technologically advanced treatments, but one of the simplest and most effective, organic methods by far is known to most of us but still rarely used today in our gardens... mulch How many of us have seen this classic scene - but how many of us actually know what its for?   Deciduous trees shed
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Tips on Pruning Roses in Italian Gardens Late Autumn is the time when we generally consider pruning the roses in our gardens, both in the UK and in many parts of the US, however when should we prune the roses in our Italian holiday homes...? The rose is a plant that soon loses its vigor and each year produces less and less of its magnificent flowers if we do not prune it annually. They soon become overgrown, woody and begin to fade if we do not intervene
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Wild Italian Saffron Can be Mistaken for a Deadly Plant! 'Saffron made in Italy' has now staked a large claim to the saffron market with organic growers of this fascinating crocus flower now appearing all over Italy. The flower of Crocus sativus still grows wild in the fields and woods of Tuscany, where saffron production is now proliferate. Although the wild saffron crocus begins flowering in September, it can keep providing it's violet flowers right through on
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How to Design a Moon Garden in Italy Italy is really the ideal place to create a moon garden with it's clear, warm moonlit nights and the vast array of perfumed Mediterranean plants at the garden designer's disposal. A moon garden is simply a garden, designed to enjoy at night, based around a planting of plants that capture the soft hues of the moon. Plants should be strongly perfumed in order to fill the still, evening air with heady and delicious scents that, together with
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Noblest of Italian Wild Flowers wild artichoke Along the side of the motorway, at the edges of fields and on scruffy wasteland- the most majestic of all of Italy's wild flowers reigns with nobility. wild artichoke Protected by the sharpest and most aggressive of spines, Cynara cardunculus has very few enemies aside from the human and his kitchen knife. Man has prized the beauty and delicate flavor of the artichoke since ancient Greek
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Mannerist Gardens in Italy by Teresa Cutler-Broyles   One of the more intriguing and sometimes disconcerting features of a Mannerist garden is the sensation of being watched as you stroll through. Even when no one is nearby and silence settles, that tingling in the back of your brain will not go away and from the corner of your eye you think you catch a glimpse of... something. It's not movement so much as a shape, not alive so much as filled with life, and not someone so much as something.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Sunflower and Italian Gardens The happy, almost human-like presence of the glorious sunflower is finally dwindling in the fields and gardens of Italy now that we're approaching late summer. However, it's happiness and sunshine can often remain in our minds for long into the winter months... sunflower field A native of the Americas, the sunflower symbolized the image of the Sun God to the Incas and its sunny presence and edible seeds have linked the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Tips for Designing Tuscan Gardens When we imagine the typical Tuscan garden- images of elaborate, formal Renaissance gardens often spring to mind, like Boboli in Florence or La Foce, near Montepulciano...   Gardens such as these displayed the power and control that man wished to exert over nature in the glorious Renaissance period of the 16th century. This is a justified image, and does reflect well the origins of the Tuscan garden, it has to be said that more
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Fruit Trees Found in Italy Which fruit trees are suitable for Italian gardens? Italian gardens are generally characterised by elegant formal lines and strong structure, however, the use of fruit trees in Italian gardens cannot be overlooked. Since the early Arabic influence fruit trees have featured strongly in Italian gardens and later. Then, with the onset of the Roman Empire, new varieties of fruit trees came flooding into Italy from all over the world. These included
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Planting and Designing Italian Gardens ecoLogica: Having decided upon a style for our Outdoor room and regardless of whether it will be styled on a Renaissance villa or a rustic Tuscan landscape we can now really begin getting excited at the prospect of actually designing a garden, because from here on in the process becomes very creative indeed. If, as I suggested in my previous article, we decide upon a fusion of both formal and informal styles, and once
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Interpreting Italian Garden Style Correctly The Italian garden presents the garden designer in Italy with many nuances and various strong symbols that for many people symbolize Italy and everything Italian. Many garden design themes have been drawn from the Italian garden style over the years. However, just as many of the rest of the world's representations and perceptions of the typical Italian garden style are correct, many can be overemphasized and can often
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Ecological solutions For Your Italian Garden   Above: Ladybug eats aphids                            Above: Ladybug larvae eats even more Often a garden full of insects and brimming with natural life can seem somehow out of control and, to some, even full of potential garden pests. However a garden that is
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Essentials to a Roman Style Garden There is a considerable body of evidence surrounding the gardens of ancient Rome that details the various elements that comprised their pleasure and villa style gardens. Many classical features are found in today's gardens and landscapes paying homage to those ancient stylized Roman gardens. The following article discusses ways you can transform your garden or landscape into an ancient Roman pleasure garden filled with elements
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How to Attract Italian Butterflies into Italian Gardens swallowtail butterfly One of the most spectacular sights in Italian gardens has to be the European swallowtail butterfly flitting, effortlessly over lavender, buddleja, valerian or any other nectar-providing flower. This large and beautiful butterfly is a master of the air and glides from flower to flower on its graceful wings, however, its origins are far from graceful although they are equally beautiful
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Using Mustard Flowers Italian Gardens Italian fields are now ablaze with a plant that possesses the color of the sunniest day and that provides the world with one of the hottest flavors on the menu...mustard! Hippocrates greek physician Hippocrates, the great Greek physician, was busy writing about the healing properties of this plant four centuries before the birth of Christ- he recommended that the crushed seeds of this plant should be mixed
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Ecological Control for Aphids and Whitefly Using Nature to Help You Create a Natural Italian Garden Left: Adult wasp emerging from the mummified aphids Until recently the solution to this problem was to spray the plant with toxic pesticides, which curiously, also kill nature's own remedy to the problem... the parasitic wasp. There are hundreds of species of parasitic wasp, some feed on caterpillars and spiders and some lay their eggs on
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How to Prune Mediterranean Plants For many of us the thought of a helpless plant having its limbs hacked off by a human evokes a sense of horror and the feeling that the poor plant is suffering a terrible, un-natural ordeal in the process. However by leaving certain plants without correct pruning we are in actual fact creating far more suffering and hardship for those plants and there are some very logical yet natural reasons why... forest fire Many
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Facts, History and Use of the Olive Tree in Italian Gardens huge olive tree The European olive tree (Olea europaea) has come to symbolize, more than any plant, the essence of the Mediterranean region and it's gardens. Growing from 8 -12 meters tall in the poorest, rockiest of soils and depending on ferocious Mediterranean sunshine, the olive tree has truly won the battle of survival in the Mediterranean, growing indigenously from Lebanon to parts of Iran and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Tips on Mediterranean Garden Style The Italian Peninsula is long, as I've mentioned before. It runs from cool mountain ranges in the north (the Dolomites), which host wild azaleas and delphiniums- to scorching, baron, almost desert like terrains in the south, hosting some spectacular wild cacti and succulents. This, essentially, North African climate is able to support many of the beautiful cacti and succulents from all over the world, like
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Vignola: Italian Garden designer for the Vatican Italian Garden designer for the Vatican Bagnaia: Villa Lante By Jonathan Radford Above and left : water feature at Villa Lante - Right Pope Julius III > Italy is renowned for it's fashion, it's cuisine and it’s stunning Renaissance period. However, how many of the artists that contributed to and created the breathtaking art of that period have been overlooked or unrecognised? Although the Italian garden design movement made up a
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Advice on Designing Italian Gardens EcoLogica: The dream farmhouse or villa has been purchased the nearest restaurant has been found and approved, the house has finally been restored and the flooring and paint finishes decided, so now all that's left to do is make a garden! The planning of the garden or "Out-door room" is often the part of restoring old properties that is grossly overlooked. If it is even considered, at all, it is generally the very last
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Harmonizing Planting in Italian Gardens The effect of light and shade is a major component of Italian garden design and is known as the 'Chiaro-scuro' effect. As one passes under a dense tree canopy or under a pergola, smothered in wisteria, one experiences differing concentrations of light. This light to dark effect can be underlined and enhanced in the Italian garden by using intelligent planting schemes. Dark evergreens, like cypress trees and box (xus
Friday, June 1st, 2012
An Italian Recipe For Stinging Nettle with Gnocchi There are very few gardeners, or children that have not had battles with the common yet ingenious stinging nettle, but there is more to this plant than may first meet the eye. Urtica dioica is a very common and widespread plant that can be found in Europe, Asia, N Africa and N America and its capacity for inflicting pain and infesting wasteland around abandoned houses is known to everyone. However this plant is more
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Mediterranean Chastity Plant Mediterranean plants have long been attributed with having medicinal, healing properties, from the skin softening oil of the olive tree, the calming effects of the chamomile plant or even to the flatulence reducing fennel. However, rarely do we hear of a Mediterranean plant that can assist one with maintaining a period of chastity. italian chastity plants italy Curiously, Vitex agnus castus actually takes it's common name "The
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Flowering Bulbs and Italian Garden Design Flower bulbs Spring's arrival after a long grey winter is enough to get everyone a little bit excited about the prospect of longer days, blue skies and some color... at last. bulbs in a field in italy These bulbs shown below have been hybridized and modified into some magnificent flower forms and colors that are clearly very useful to the garden designer. yellow flowers in italy When making a bulb-garden
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Garden Ponds and Fish Once constructed, your garden pond is not complete without its finishing touches. There are many varieties of aquatic plants and ornamental fish available, which will transform your pond - bringing it to life and blending it naturally into your garden. Getting the balance right will allow your pond to become virtually self-sustaining, which means you will only need to give it occasional attention to keep it in peak condition... First of all
Friday, June 1st, 2012
How to Design Italian Gardens The thought of designing Italian style patios maybe daunting for most people, however if a few guidelines are followed we can easily suggest a strong Italian theme in our gardens. We should aim to create a shaded patio area near the house, where we can sit and dine 'al fresco' on summers evenings, or enjoy a coffee and fresh brioche in the mornings, with easy access to the house and all its amenities. Shade is most easily achieved using a
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Tips for Italian Herb Gardening The name itself suggests that an Italian herb garden should, in fact, be treated as a 'garden' and not just a dull area with a few dry basil plants struggling to survive on it... gar·den (gärdn) N. 1. A plot of land used for the cultivation of flowers, vegetables, herbs, or fruit. 2. gardens Grounds laid out with flowers, trees, and ornamental shrubs and used for recreation or display.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
A Jewel of Italian birds If you noticed an orange/pink, unusual looking bird with a striking crest on it's head while visiting Italy then you had probably been lucky to have seen the Hoopoe, a stunning migratory visitor to Italy. The Hoopoe is quite an unmistakable bird, it has bright orange plumage, it flies rather like a woodpecker and has a striking orange crest, black an white markings along with a long, slender and pointed beak. The Hoopoe can