Archive for the ‘Italian Gardens’ Category

Isola Bella

Rarrrr…..damn changeable English weather!!! What I wouldnt give for us to have a lovely sunny weekend so we can do some proper gardening work!! Instead I am sat in my living room drinking about twelve million cups of tea slowly working my way through season 5 of ‘The Closer’ (which I am loving, by the way!).

So I thought I would write a post on Isola Bella, a beautiful island in the middle of Lake Maggiore in Italy. We spent  a day here and I was blown away by how pretty it is, but also how completely over the top it is too! The Island is still owned by the Borromeo family and they have a palace here which includes some amazing items and rooms with crystal chandeliers, grottoes and a rather creepy puppet collection!

Here are some photographs….

P.S I will be adding some more posts next week which will include plans for our chickens and some more updates on our garden, lets just hope the weather improves…!

Isola Bella

The terrazzo - bonkers!


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Villa Taranto

The first expedition that we went on in Lake Maggiore was to the Villa Taranto in Pallanza. This villa was bought in 1931 by a scotsman named Neil McEachern who turned the villa’s grounds into botanical gardens.

I got some really good ideas from this garden, such as that you can actually plant hostas really close together to form a hedge or row which not only looks really pretty but which creates clear boundaries or edging to parts of the garden. Hostas are so easy to grow and the hosta edging looked more exotic and meditteranean than your traditional hedges.

There were also some fantastic examples of lily ponds, using unusual containers to plant flowers in, and some great water features. Here are some pictures….

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This week James and I took our long awaited summer holiday to Lake Maggiore in Italy.

The italians love to make everything beautiful, whether it be table tops at restaurants or trattorias, their front yards, and even their balconies. Whilst strolling around the old quarters of many of the little italian villages we saw balconies festooned with brightly coloured flowers and beautifully scented plants.

This got me thinking. It would be SO easy to transform a poky little balcony into one of these lovely creations.  If I had a small balcony area to a flat, I would love to fill it with pots containing brightly coloured flowers, it is so eye catching. Another idea would be to create a miniature kitchen garden on your blacony, full of herbs and maybe some tomato plants or strawberries.

The balconies that I saw in Italy are proof that with a little creativity even the darkest, smallest area can be transformed into something eye catching.

Here are some photographs of some of the lovely balconies that we saw….

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