I’m sitting up in bed, re-dawn, french doors open to the following view. Its morning number four and I’m yet to get bored with it.
Is Ninfa, as is so often claimed, the most romantic garden in the world? Click here to hear my view One Thing – Ninfa Latest in my (visually slightly dodgy) video series on gardens of the world, and the one thing they do best. Why not join me later this year when I next visit
Imagine a world before screens, when all images depended on reflected rather than penetrant light (OK, OK, except those in stained-glass windows). Go back earlier and imagine a world before photography, when all illustrations were drawn, painted etc, and the best depictions of flowers were the astonishing – but undeniably flat and matte – water-coloured lithographs of Curtis Botanical magazine.
One of the unsung aspects of gardens is their super-ability to have one foot in timelessness and the other in the current moment.
Well, I’m off to Italy for a few weeks.
It’s funny, that thing when you notice or see something for the first time, and then it pops up everywhere, as if your attention has nourished its multiplication. Some new model of car comes into your awareness, and you start to play with the idea of buying one, and they’re suddenly everywhere you look. What is that?
This has to be quick. I’m writing between itinerary items on a USA garden tour, and there’s only ever snatched moments.
I had reason yesterday to wonder again about the challenges of translating distinct styles or design ideas from one country to another.
If you’ve followed the discussion after that last post (I love those replies), you’d have seen Cathy’s on Sternbergia – an Autumn-flowering crocus-like thing.
It had me trawling through pics that I knew I’d taken, but don’t ever remember seeing, of the only time I’d seen Sternbergia naturalised/wild.
OK, I’m seriously overthinking this. I’ve been sitting here for an hour or so on a balcony overlooking an ancient sidestreet in Verona, trying to find an engaging angle on a particular garden that I’m capable of navigating in this over-tired, over-wrought state.
Wandering along the old walls of Lucca this morning I kept passing through thin, vertical bands like curtains of a fresh, sweet scent. Without conscious effort, my brain was madly googling through old files, knowing that there were past references to be found there.
Revelation: water is a far more powerful presence in a garden than I’ve ever recognised before.
I can’t quite settle, having done Villa Gamberaia an injustice. Not that I didn’t talk it up, but that I only talked of one small element and ignored the rest.