Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Villa Borghese and Gardens 17th Century

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. After decades of neglect, all that remained of these three gardens was an occasional remnant of a boxwood hedge without any other plants or flowers. The first step was to reconstruct the history of the gardens and learn how their changing appearance had obscured their original design.

Careful research has unearthed documentation of the iconographic program as well as lists of the plants and flowers that were planted during the time of Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the early decades of the seventeenth century. The reconstruction of the design of the flower beds was based on a modular grid created echoing the visible architectural elements: the fountains and the walls with their doors and niches that act as a backdrop to the garden.

The restorers also consulted a popular treatise of that period by Giovanni Battista Ferrari (1584–1655) on floriculture for inspiration. Using this historical information, inasmuch as it was possible, the designs of the gardens were reconstructed with flowers used for the original plantings, choosing from those that are available on the market and others that were brought from a number of foreign greenhouses. Within the three gardens, more than 250 varieties of plants permit three rounds of seasonal flowering that include rare and precious flowers 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." - Alberta Campitelli

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Secret Gardens of the Villa Borghese

"Neglected for centuries and having fallen on tough times during World War II when they served as a cabbage-producing “war garden,” the secret gardens of the Borghese were revitalized and completely restored in the 1990s. A boon arrived when archivists working in the family papers discovered the seventeenth century plant lists, which garden historians used to make this botanically faithful to the original. The gardens’ design is authentic to the period, but not necessarily their original layout here. Archaeological work during restoration revealed a paver here, a step there. But, mostly the garden design represents a synthesis of what we know about Baroque secret gardens in general. To get the best experience, act like a Borghese and ascend to the second floor of the casino from where the geometry is best experienced." - Paul Bennett

English Lavender

English Lavender
Enjoy the scent of lavender in your garden! Adds color, beauty and fragrance to gardens from June until autumn! This herb contains essential oils that are used in cooking, creams and perfumes. Widely used as a dried flower in potpourri and sachets. This compact, early blooming variety is tolerant of heat, humidity, and even drought. Every part of this plant is aromatic, creating an incredible effect in a mass planting! Works well as a low hedge, border accent, or container plant. Gray-blue evergreen foliage. Grow in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. Blooms: June-fall. Evergreen. Drought and deer resistant, fragrant, attracts butterflies, great cut flower.

Azalea, Pink

Azalea, Pink
Flaming color! Our Hardy Azaleas are brilliant flowering shrubs that bloom in magnificent profusion. Azaleas so hardy they thrive where winter temperatures drop below zero. Hardy Azaleas far superior to old-fashioned varieties. Lovely flowers cover these plants as few others can do. Make ideal foundation plants. And, you can start enjoying their colorful blooms this coming spring. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, fragrant.

Tangerine, Dwarf

Tangerine, Dwarf

Tangerine, Dwarf

Grow your own 2-4" tangerines. The Dancy is a small, erect-branching miniature tree with handsome, bright green foliage. Bears small but very flavorful fruit that ripens in the wintertime. Comes to you well-established in its own container. Complete growing instructions are included with every order. These dwarf trees are fun, and the requirements for growing them are few: they need a humid environment and may require misting several times a week. They need direct sunlight and frequent watering. The growing instructions that we send you tell you how to pollinate the trees to help the blossoms turn into fruit. We ship only well-established plants which will set fruit within 12 months. This tree is also available in the Citrus Tree Collection.


Orange Tree, Dwarf

Orange, Dwarf

Orange, Dwarf

You can expect four to six bright full-sized 2" fruits on our two-year-old trees and more on older ones. The Dwarf Orange is a charming tropical house tree with glossy-green leaves. The fragrant scent of orange blossoms is a delight. Give your home a touch of Florida sunshine year round. Very easy to grow. These dwarf trees are fun, and the requirements for growing them are few: they need a humid environment and may require misting several times a week. Dwarf Orange trees need direct sunlight and frequent watering. The growing instructions that we send you tell you how to pollinate the trees to help the blossoms turn into fruit. We ship only well-established plants which will set fruit within 12 months. This tree is also available in the Citrus Tree Collection.


Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Astounding blooms symbolize the crucifixion. The Passion Flower thrives easily in your home to produce fragrant blooms that will fascinate you with their religious significance. Blue-purple blooms measure up to 4" across and are set off with delicate pink filaments. According to legend, the Passion Flower's petals relate to the Apostles, the cornea to the Crown of Thorns, the five anthers to the Five Wounds and the three stigmas to the three nails.


Passion Flower , Blue

Passion Flower, Blue

Passion Flower, Blue

A constant showy bloomer in summer heat! Exquisite flowers with blue crowns give off a minty fragrance throughout the summer. Blooms measure up to 4” across! This extremely fast-growing vine can grow 20-25’ long and will climb almost anything: trellises, fences, arbors and walls. Great as a houseplant too! The ornate blooms are followed by edible orange colored fruits that can be eaten fresh, but are best when cooked. Evergreen in warmer climates and able to survive temperatures as low as 5 degrees F. In colder areas, they will often re-grow from the roots if winter protection is provided. Attracts butterflies. If growing outdoors, plant 5-10’ apart in an area that has moist, well-drained soil with full sun.


Borghese Principe Tomato

Click here to get $20 off any order for $50 or more of perennials at Gurneys.com! Principe Borghese Tomato - Tomatoes All Winter Long! This Italian heirloom variety is the traditional variety used for sun dried tomatoes. Plants stand up to high heat and produce plenty of tomatoes for drying, fresh eating and sauce making. Traditionally pulled up roots and all and stored upside down for the winter. Semi-indeterminate. 75 DAYS. Tomato plants are not available in ME and MT. Seeds will be shipped within 5-10 days of your order.