Borghese Gardens Seed Catalog
Tree Seedling and Bulb Emporium





A catalog of heirloom seeds, seedlings and bulbs from the 17th Century Villa Borghese (Secret Gardens) in Rome. Working from the original lists of rare and unusual flowers, trees, herbs, fruits, vegetables, and plants carried back to Rome from the explorers of the Americas...



... the restoration of the Villa Borghese to its seventeenth-century appearance was begun in 1997 and has been based on extensive historical research of numerous documents preserved in the Borghese family archives at the Vatican. Among the most important recent projects has been the refurbishment of the secret gardens known as the Flower Garden, the Garden of Blooms and Views, and the Garden of the Bitter Oranges. (including citron/ etrog)

Using this historical information the designs of the gardens were reconstructed with flowers used for the original plantings. Within the three gardens, more than 250 varieties of plants permit three rounds of seasonal flowering that include rare and precious flowers and fruit of the beautiful tree (peri eitz hadar, literally "a fruit of the beautiful tree." - Leviticus 23:40.) that have disappeared from Roman gardens and have been reintroduced for the first time. These include such flowers as fritillaries, numerous varieties of antique tulips, old roses, many aromatic plants, and flowers such as the sunflower, marigolds, and four o'clocks that were rarities in the seventeenth century because of their recent importation from the Americas. The gardens thus have returned to their original state as true living museums.

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The entire Borghese Gardens park was organized on a formal, symmetrical plan with lanes and small squares lined with statues and fountains. The giardini segreti (secret gardens) located on either side of casino were the most important and well-tended of the gardens. Since the Renaissance, secret gardens, whose roots lie in the kitchen gardens of Medieval convents, have been a common garden type. Their name is an allusion to the fact that they are enclosed by walls that form outdoor rooms, thereby creating a private passage from the closed, interior spaces to the open air of the surrounding park. [1] Alberta Campitelli

The Borghese Gardens in Rome were built in 1605, when Cardinal Scipione Borghese converted the existing vineyards into one of the largest landscape gardens in all of Rome. Scipione Borghese was nephew to Camillo Borghese - Pope Paul V - who oversaw the completion of St Peter's Basillica at the Vatican. When you visit Rome be sure to look for the name inscribed at the main entrance portico. It reads BVRGHESIVS - Latin for Borghese.


"Borghese" at the Vatican

Borghese Gardens "Temple of Aesculapius"

In Rome, Pope Paul V (Camillo Borghese) financed the completion of St. Peter's Basilica, and improved the Vatican Library. He restored the Aqua Traiana, an ancient Roman Aqueduct (named after him Acqua Paola), bringing water to the rioni located on right bank of the Tiber (Trastevere and Borgo). Like many Popes of the time he was also allegedly guilty of nepotism, and his nephew Scipione Borghese wielded enormous power on his behalf, consolidating the rise of the Borghese family. Paul V also established the Bank of the Holy Spirit in 1605.

Emporium (medieval Latin from Greek emporos = 'merchant') is a term used for a store selling a wide variety of goods, and for marketplaces or trading centres in ancient cities (see emporia (ancient Greece) and emporia (early medieval)).

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