Thursday, December 4, 2008

Italy Gardens - Venice

Recently I traveled to Italy with my wife Therese for her birthday. A big one, and I won’t say the numberJ. Our trip took us from Venice in the north to Amalfi on the Mediterranean and while we were there I decided to check out the local garden scene. Italy is very interesting in its approach to gardening. There are large cities like Rome and Florence, where container gardening are popular (and necessary), and quaint little cottages in the rolling hills of Tuscany. I thought I would kick off with the first stop we made on our trip, Venice.
In case you didn’t know, Venice is an island. It was a marshy area that has been filled in and a good portion of the city is built on piers and pilings that have been driven into the water. As you can imagine, there isn’t a lot of soil for garden plots! Venice is a wonderful city that has no vehicle traffic except around the area of the train station. Walking (or water craft) is the only way around this wonderful place. The first thing you will notice is the creative use of plants and planting areas.
Outside of our hotel window was an apartment building. Check out the various uses for containers. People even created entertainment spaces where they could find room. And if something grew, they let it grow!!!

This ivy is coming from a 2nd story garden and trails over the edge of the home and down to the water.

This wisteria vine was growing in one person’s backyard (if you can call it that) and the neighbors have trained it around the building so everyone can enjoy it.

Window boxes are the container of choice. Almost everywhere you look you can see window boxes. This is a view of 2 major streets coming together and crossing a canal. That’s right, these 2 small walkways are considered streets. And you will find people growing plants anywhere there is a little light and soil.

There were 2 very interesting garden type displays we found in Venice. Down one street we found the Singapore Supergarden. This area was a showcase of design styles from Singapore, but the area of the garden (the entry) was very beautiful.
The other very interesting ‘garden’ display was the ‘Deep Garden’, a tribute to Venice. It was a sculpture that featured a single maple planted in the middle of a glass cube that was painted red on the inside. An outdoor room immersed in water. Very interesting!
The next stop on our tour will be Padua…

Stay tuned,
Garden Time Producer


Roxanne said...

Fr. Bernie is a friend of mine & he sent me the link to your blog. We went on the Magi tour to Italy last November. Love your pix of Venice & look fwd to seeing the rest of Italy thru a gardener's eyes! (Esp. since it's verrry ccccold here in NE Nebraska right now)

Judy said...

Thanks for the story & great photos.