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Lake Maggiore gardens

34 comments


You might have watched Monty Don’s programme when he visited Isola Bella, which is in Lake Maggiore, Italy.

He was lucky – he was allowed to venture in parts of the garden where ‘Joe Public’ aren’t allowed. I know – I went there last week while we were on holiday.

There are three islands in the lake, and two of them have gardens you can visit – by boat, of course.

Each of the gardens has its own microclimate, and they’re able to grow plants that would be tender in the UK.

Colocasia

Beautiful water lilies -

- and Lotus blossoms…

…as well as a water flower I didn’t recognise. I believe it’s an Eichhornia.

Lovely planting!

This is a most unusual Hydrangea, believe it or not.

The island has a lot of statuary, including an enormous unicorn, which was the symbol of the Borromee dukes.

It gets very crowded on Isola Bella, as you can tell. I much prefer Isola Madre, which is less formal and to my mind, more beautiful.

This is my favourite area – a lovely lily pool with wonderful planting round it.

They can even grow Proteas here!

The palace isn’t nearly as ornate, and the walls are clad with Solanum, Bouganvillea and other planting so dense that the walls are covered.

There are large terracotta planters round every bend, and many of them have Lantana trained as a half-standard tree!

At the moment, the island has a modern art exhibition going on – I’m afraid I must be a Philistine, because I didn’t think a staircase of rusty iron dogs added anything to the beauty of the garden.

There’s a very rare Swamp Cypress tree outside the palace – originating from China, where its survival is under threat. Sadly, it blew over in a freak tornado in 2006, but with great ingenuity and skill, they’ve managed to right the tree and replant it. It’s tied with cables, and many branches had to be cut off, but how wonderful that it has survived!

Those red things are ‘modern art’…nuff said. .

Time to leave Isola Madre – walking past the cliff wall towards the boat landing stage, all planted up with a huge Brugmansia at the end.

The last view of the island from the boat is the cliff face – huge Agaves and Cacti grow there with a farewell shower of Bouganvillea above you.

I’ll have to tell you about the third garden in another blog.

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: Back in the fold!

Next post: Back to Italy!



Comments

bjs
Bjs
 

A good trip enjoyed that, well worth seeing.

26 Sep, 2013

 

Delightful photos Barbara, and so glad you've had a holiday!!

26 Sep, 2013

 

A wonderful blog Barbara, I love Italy but have never been to the lakes.....On my wish list :o))

26 Sep, 2013

 

Most modern art makes me think of ..."the emperors new clothes"......
Everyone except the child think he's grand...... the child sees him as he is..... in the "altogether..."

the islands look delightful. Thanks Spritz.

26 Sep, 2013

 

Looks beautiful Spritz. Love the blue waterlily especially. Sounds as though you are having a great holiday - enjoy!

26 Sep, 2013

 

Lovely blog and pics,Spritz..I remember the approach by boat,in the first picture..but you were lucky enough to be able to visit this Island..I didn't like the so called Modern art either..rusty dogs just didn't do it for me..but the rest of it is lovely....

26 Sep, 2013

 

I visited Isola Bella many years ago, and loved both the gardens and the house. Don't think I went to Isola Madre though, looks great!

26 Sep, 2013

 

Lovely photos, made me feel like I was there enjoying the sunshine!

26 Sep, 2013

 

How beautiful, have never visited Italy, we did see Monty Dons program and found it fascinating.
Pleased you had a lovely holiday, some amazing photographs Spritz.....personally I rather liked the rusty dogs, but then I come from a very arty family........
Looking forward to your next blog, (and that Colocasia put mine to shame, must try harder!!)

26 Sep, 2013

 

It's amazing to see such huge plants, which live outside all year round, Dd. You would love Italy.

Glad you all enjoyed the first episode - I'll try to write the next one soon.

I suppose 'art' is very subjective. I didn't take photos of the other exhibits, which were definitely 'weird'. I preferred the flowers! :-D)

27 Sep, 2013

 

Absolutely stunning....if there is a heaven...it must be like Italy! I also prefer the less formal garden style B. All that overly ornate baroque stuff does nothing for me at all. I was totally puzzled by the 'art'....especially the red hanging down things around the tree! lol. But the plants are just stunning. I bet you had a wonderful day! Thanks for sharing...gone to my favourites so I can revisit on a cold dreich winters day! :)

27 Sep, 2013

 

Lol...I don't know it's origin snoop...a lot of scots words are from Nordic originally....but wherever it's from, it's a good word!:))

27 Sep, 2013

 

next time you go I'm going to stow away in your luggage :o). a wonderful 'travel-log' spritz. I especially loved the water lilies.

27 Sep, 2013

 

Me too - so many different colours, Sbg! Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks, Karen. :-)) More to come later!

28 Sep, 2013

 

Thanks for the blog Spritzhenry, Brings back the memories of that lovely region. Had an opportunity way back in mid 90's to exprore that part of the world when working in Geneva.
Sounds like a great holiday you had and your pictures are impressive.

29 Sep, 2013

 

Well barbara, fancy sneaking off like that ... and no, I'm not jealous:-(( I would live on that island and not allow any visitors except GOY friends and family. Did you get the name of that hydrangea? i'd like to google it:-)

29 Sep, 2013

 

No, sorry - there weren't any labels in the pots. Oooh, I'd love to live on Isola Madre - that climate all year round would suit me fine! :-D) Not on I. Bella, though - I'd get the heebie-jeebies with some of the weird statues.

30 Sep, 2013

 

I don't even like manequins in shops, don't mind them in the shop window where they belong, but they dot them around the clothes shops now ...get the feeling they're staring at me, and don't even mention wax works ... shudder :-)

30 Sep, 2013

 

You definitely woudn't like Isola Bella, then. The statues aare ginormous and 'loom' above you! :-O

1 Oct, 2013

 

No then it's definitely going to be Isola Madre:-)

1 Oct, 2013

 

We'll live there together, Ba. :-)))

2 Oct, 2013

 

lol I must be a philistine too, where "modern art" is concerned. if I did something like that it'd be called vandalism. lovely scenery, though!

6 Oct, 2013

 

I'm glad someone agrees with me, Fran. :-))

7 Oct, 2013

 

Anyway Barbara, I'm going to put on a blog to rival this ....Walsall Arboretum!:-))

7 Oct, 2013

 

lol, Spritz, I resigned from Homo Artistica the day they put a pile of bricks in the Tate and called it art!

7 Oct, 2013

 

How about that unmade bed?????????

Ba, I look forward to it. :-)))

8 Oct, 2013

 

lol Spritz, you or me wouldn't have the brass neck to do something like that ! Someone once defined art as "whatever you can get away with", think they're right. Maybe when I move I'll paint the outside walls in orange and purple stripes and call it "art", but I don't think I'd get away with it.

8 Oct, 2013

 

Grayson Perry has a program on radio4 about modern art and from what I can gather, shares similar views:-)

8 Oct, 2013

 

to me, art in all its forms is about communication: taking an idea from one head and putting it in someone else's. if it makes yoiu think or feel something you hadn't before, it's art. No doubt that's a very limited viewpoint, but all that modern art communicates to me is that someone's found an easy way of making a living.

it's Hans Chritian Anderson's "The King's New Clothes" all over - only "intelligent" people can see the "significance"

sorry to divert from the subject, Spritz!

9 Oct, 2013

 

That's OK. It's all interesting. I must be brainless, then. Most modern art leaves me cold! Those pictures with one red dot (can't remember the artist) are worth millions - why?

9 Oct, 2013

 

lol not brainless, just more honest, not pretending to see signficance in case people thing we're thick.

years ago the Whitechapel Art Gallery had a "work" that was a large pice of pink material, with a button sewn in the lower left corner ---- ??????

Dr Johnson was on our side, too: "I had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world."

9 Oct, 2013

 

That's it exactly, Fran. I like that quote! :-))

10 Oct, 2013

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