Saturday, September 5, 2015

Herb, Sage

Herb, Sage
Grown inside or out -- they take such little space and give so much pleasure! Easy-to-grow and a healthful and less expensive alternative to store-bought spices! Comes in single packets or save when purchasing multiples. This herb is also available in the Herb Collection. Planting guide: When growing herbs outside, seeds should be started indoors in boxes and transplanted to the open ground after danger of frost. Sow about four times their diameter in depth and press the soil down firmly. These items are useful when starting seeds indoors for transplanting: Jiffy-7 Peat Pellets Peat Pots, 2 1/4" round Peat Pots, 3" round 3" square pots 4 1/2" round pots For protecting your transplants against late, unexpected frosts choose between Hotkaps plant protectors and Wall O' Water plant protectors. Everything you need to get your plants off to a great start!

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Secret Gardens - Villa Borghese, Giardini Segreti

"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. Between the gardens is a pavilion called “l’Uccelliera,” (the Aviary), which was constructed to house a prized collection of rare and exotic birds.
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. The fountains and furnishings have been put away for safekeeping and replaced with copies made of cement and marble dust. The originals will eventually be exhibited in the Museum of Villa Borghese, which will be housed in the Clock House. 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. In the wake of the economic troubles caused by World War II cabbage and potatoes were grown here to help feed the hungry population. 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 http://catena.bgc.bard.edu/borghese/text.htm

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

View of the Villa Borghese and Gardens 17th C.

In 1605, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V and patron of Bernini, began turning this former vineyard into the most extensive gardens built in Rome since Antiquity. The vineyard's site is identified with the gardens of Lucullus, the most famous in the late Roman republic. In the 19th century much of the garden's former formality was remade as a landscape garden in the English taste (illustration, right). The Villa Borghese gardens were long informally open, but were bought by the commune of Rome and given to the public in 1903. The large landscape park in the English taste contains several villas. The Spanish Steps lead up to this park, and there is another entrance at the Porte del Popolo by Piazza del Popolo. The Pincio (the Pincian Hill of ancient Rome), in the south part of the park, offers one of the greatest views over Rome. - Villa Borghese Gardens

The Gardens of Lucullus (Horti Lucullani) were the setting for an ancient patrician villa on the Pincian Hill on the edge of Rome; they were laid out by Lucius Licinius Lucullus about 60 BCE. The Villa Borghese gardens still cover 17 acres (69,000 m²) of green on the site, now in the heart of Rome, above the Spanish Steps.

"The fabled gardens of Lucullus were among the most influential in the history of gardening. For introducing the Persian garden, Pompey mockingly nicknamed Lucullus 'the Roman Xerxes', and Tubero called him 'Xerxes in a toga'. These comments demonstrate that it was well understood in Rome that this new luxury of gardening originated in Persia. Lucullus had firsthand experience of the Persian gardening style, in the satraps' gardens of Anatolia ('Asia' to the Romans) and in Mesopotamia and Persia itself. As Plutarch pointed out, "Lucullus [was] the first Roman who carried an army over Taurus, passed the Tigris, took and burnt the royal palaces of Asia in the sight of the kings, Tigranocerta, Cabira, Sinope, and Nisibis, seizing and overwhelming the northern parts as far as the Phasis, the east as far as Media, and making the South and Red Sea his own through the kings of the Arabians." - Gardens of Lucullus