Friday, January 23, 2009

Italy Gardens – Rome, part 2

This week we talk about other parts of Rome. While there we took a short tour of the Vatican and found out that they have a collection of fantastic gardens. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to see all of them. We did see some interesting parts though.

Check out this fountain at the Vatican museum it is covered with ferns, callabracoa and other moisture loving plants.

In the Garden of the Pinecone we found this sculpture in the middle of it.

It is the sphere with-in a sphere. A complex piece of art representing a complex world. One interesting insight, all the old buildings, walls and structures reminded me of the resilience of plants.

They seemed to be growing out of every wall and crevice. This plant found a home in the ancient wall of Vatican City.

We also took a day trip to Montecasino where a Benedictine monastery was bombed during World War II. It has been mostly rebuilt from donations from around the world. We found this wonderful courtyard garden that included a good collection of roses. Later we saw this garden, on the right, that used mixed containers in patterns on the bricks. The only permanent plantings were in small beds against the walls. The patterns were created with different containers of geraniums, citrus, maples, palms and boxwood plants.

Finally, I had to include this small terrarium in the lobby of our hotel in central Rome. I thought this really was the epitome of small gardening in Italy. Located in the middle of a lobby in the center of a building, away from all natural light, it was thriving. It showed me that if people want to garden, they will find a way.

Last notes… Garden Time makes an appearance at the Vatican. This is Fr. Bernie Starman wearing a GT hat. How handsome! Even the cappuccino’s are in the trying to copy the plants.

Next week we travel south down the Amalfi Coast

Jeff Gustin
Garden Time Producer