The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

I NEED a holiday!

60 comments


It seems ages since we went to Italy, to Lake Maggiore. It was in September last year – not that long, really.

However, I feel as though I really need a break from all the dismal weather here – but as a ‘real’ holiday isn’t possible, I can look back – and show you some photos of …guess what? Another garden that we visited in the warm Italian sunshine. I shall imagine I’m there – care to join me?

Now this one is a cracker – I took so many photos that it would take I-don’t-know-how-long to load them – so here’s a taster, starting with a view from the garden to the lake shore.

The gardens at Villa Taranto were laid out by a Scot – Captain Neil Boyd McEacharn – between 1931 and 1939, when he handed them over to the Italian Government. There are 7 kilometers of paths in the gardens, set on a peninsula overlooking wonderful views of the lake thrugh the trees.

The garden is a botanical paradise, with its own micro-climate. It’s a mixture of tree planted slopes with both native trees and trees brought from Scotland and all round the world, formal Italian gardens, fountains, ponds both formal and informal, glasshouses, statues, borders and beds, exotica and wonderful vistas. It even boasts a dahlia maze with over 300 different dahlias in it!

You enter the gardens and walk along a path edged with formal beds full of colour. At each side, trees soar above you.

Off to the right is a wonderful ornate fountain, surrounded by Colocasia antiquorum plants with their huge leaves. It’s magical when the sun shines through them!

Following the path that runs past the fountain, you can’t help but stop frequently to gaze at the perfection of the tropical flowers on each side of the path – I recognised different coloured Hibiscus, Oleanders, Lagerstroemeria indica, Canna indica and Bougainvillea – but also many that I hadn’t ever seen before.

Off down another path between many different species of Acers and other beautiful specimen trees – different ones to catch the eye round every bend..

You finally arrive at the Dahlia maze. I’ve never seen so many different dahlias before – ranging from tiny pom-pom flowers to huge dinner-plate sized blooms.

Up a little further is the huge glasshouse, which isn’t what you expect at all! It’s kept locked – but you can see through the open windows that inside is a large rectangular pond. There are the most glorious purple and blue water lilies there, and other beautiful water plants – but taking up most of the space is Victoria amazonica – an enormous plant with leaves 2 metres across! A leaf is large and strong enough to bear a five kg weight! This water lily originates in South America.

At the top of the hill in the formal Italian gardens, there are statues, fountains, colourful bedding plants, perfect lawns and a view of the Villa where the Captain lived – all adding up to an unforgettable sight.

The Captain gave the garden to the Italian Government which opened it to the public in 1952, but he is buried in a Mausoleum in the gardens – the door is flanked by beautifully planted urns. He never left the special place he created!

Back down the zig-zags a different way, I spotted a sheet of variegated Liriope – what a sight that was! They were thriving in the shade of the huge trees.

Several other special plantings caught my eye on the way back to the gate – agaves with cacti.

A wonderful shrub with exotic dangling clusters of shining flowers – its name is Erythrina crista-galli – I loved that one!

Tree ferns – Dicksonia antarctica with strange almost prehistoric looking ferns amongst them – hardy here in this sheltered valley.

And finally – another beautiful specimen tree – a Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa’. I wonder if Bluespruce has this in his garden?

At the gate, they give you a leaflet to tell you what is in flower in each month that the gardens are open – I’d love to visit every month!

But it’s time to make for the landing stage outside the gate, get back on the boat and travel up the lake to our hotel. What a wonderful special garden this is – I enjoyed my mini-holiday there this afternoon – and it was sunny!

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: Cheer-up time for winter!

Next post: Just like Jack's beanstalk!



Comments

 

I feel as if I've been on holiday with you, lol. Lovely blog, brilliant photographs, stunning garden. What a wonderful place to be buried - I bet he keeps an eye on the gardeners.

4 Feb, 2010

 

Enjoyed the tour. Thank you :o)

4 Feb, 2010

 

What a glorious place to visit and such wonderfully diverse plants to see. It certainly was worth the trip back to see it all Lol.
That has definitely warmed me up on this cold and miserable day!
Thank you Spritz!

4 Feb, 2010

 

I didn't show you HALF of it, Ian - we've been there twice now, and I really want to go again at a different time of year.

Thanks, Tt - you're welcome. :-)

I agree, Wagger - he couldn't be anywhere else after his labour of love, could he?

4 Feb, 2010

 

I really wish I had the courage to get on a plane! I'm a big softy really! Lol

4 Feb, 2010

 

Oh IAN!! What a lot you're missing. :-((( Mind you, we have driven down to Italy, twice.

4 Feb, 2010

 

barbara i can understand why you want to go back there its stunning, some of them flowers were beautifull, love italian gardens, we have italian gardens in our big park in blackpool, not on this level though, also loved the tropical flowers and plants big and bold, i must say italy is deffernatly on my holiday list, lovely blog, thanx for sharing your memories barbara :o)) x

4 Feb, 2010

 

Lovely photos of a memorable holiday Spritz. Just to let you know after a mild day here all the snow has finally gone ! Hope it stays that way.The garden has really suffered,and if this is the shape of things to come will have to re think the plantings;ie very hardy only !!

4 Feb, 2010

 

Ciao Spritz, molte grazie for a lovely blog. Mi piace molto. That's as far as I can get.!!! :o))

4 Feb, 2010

 

Such a Beautiful Place Spritz :) Iv always wanted to go :)

4 Feb, 2010

 

Grazie mille, Homebird, Questo giardino e bellissimo, non e vero? ;-)

4 Feb, 2010

 

Thanks, everyone - glad you enjoyed it! One day, Jac.....

4 Feb, 2010

 

Yes i beleive your Rite Spritz it will be 1 day :)

4 Feb, 2010

amy
Amy
 

What a beautiful a garden Barbara , I'm not surprised that you want to go back at a different time of the year theres so much more to see in different seasons , I bet your fingers were itching for cuttings ..LOL...

4 Feb, 2010

 

So lovely Barbara...the light and the colors are amazing in your photo's...beautiful...thanks for the Holiday...loved it! :)

4 Feb, 2010

 

just what i needed to see today after a miserable damp day at work. thanks for the spirts lift :o))

4 Feb, 2010

 

Great blog Spritz....fabulous pics especially the lovely Dahlias and the fantastic planted urn...:>)

4 Feb, 2010

 

Grazie, Spritz! This was a real tonic! I must be in the same frame of mind - yesterday I "visted the Caribbean", hehe! The view and formal gardens here msut be amazing to see for real. :-))

4 Feb, 2010

 

Loved the fountain, in fact loved it all, would like to go to Italy one day, the garden is stunning.

5 Feb, 2010

 

beautiful, thanks for the tour Spritz :))

5 Feb, 2010

 

Superb blog and stunning picture as always Spritz.I cant pick out a favourite plant as they all look so good in that setting, even the Dahlias of which I not really a fan,love the Liriope though.

5 Feb, 2010

 

Thanks, all - I have to say that the carpet of Liriope (repeated in other areas of the garden!) was just breathtaking!

I think I took over 100 photos there - can you blame me? lol.

5 Feb, 2010

 

Bellissimo !!!!

5 Feb, 2010

 

Grazie, Signora! Viva Italia!!! :-))))

5 Feb, 2010

 

:o)))))

5 Feb, 2010

 

Lovely pics. I especially love the italin garden with water and colourful beds..Fantastic.
And go on ...go and book a holiday make yourself feel good!!!!

5 Feb, 2010

 

Thanks for showing us these lovely photos, think with Smokey how he is this is going to be the nearest to a holiday i will get, just looking at others holiday photos :o))

5 Feb, 2010

 

What a wonderful day out,Spritz.Have been to Italy many times,as it is our favourite country,but never got round yet,to staying at the Italian lakes.Only been to Simione for a half day,on a trip to Verona...and it poured down,so not the best day to see it.Your pics are gorgeous,and I think we will be making plans to visit one day...maybe next year..You have certainly whetted my appetite,after seeing these.:o))..Grazie,Signora,from me too...

5 Feb, 2010

 

enjoyed your holiday pics..........lovely flowers and gardens........... love those big waterlillies.................

5 Feb, 2010

 

Amazing, aren't they!

Bloomer- you'd love it there. Gardens to visit - and mountains - and the lake - and sunshine!

5 Feb, 2010

 

I like the photo of the big Italianate urn made from Terracotta, and they have used Coleus by the look of it to give the wow factor.
I bet my choice doesnt surprise you Barbara!

6 Feb, 2010

 

No, to be honest, lol. There are more of those urns, Grenville - all beautifully planted, and a border of Coleus in one area. You and Alan would just love this garden!

6 Feb, 2010

 

It's beautiful, and as you know, we love Italianate gardens.The beautiful light also helps as well....... together with the SUN!!!!
We all need some of that here in the U.K at the moment.
Thanks for sharing the lovely photos.

6 Feb, 2010

 

Thanks for the visit around the beautiful gardens Spritz. I think I`ll put this on my "must see" list of gardens to visit. :o)

Sandra x

6 Feb, 2010

 

I know you'd all love it there. We did! There's so much to see. I MUST go back at another time of year! :-))))))

6 Feb, 2010

 

While you're all at it, there is so much to enjoy in the Umbrian/Sabine area too - in fact I'm biased, but I reckon the whole of Italy is quite beautiful .... !!

7 Feb, 2010

 

Yes - agreed! We say we'll go somewhere else but end up in Italy. :-))

7 Feb, 2010

 

Love the Blog. I want to be there too :~))

7 Feb, 2010

 

How lovely:-)) I'll be off to the Umbrian/Sabine area soon. Terry60 is swapping houses with me ;-))

7 Feb, 2010

 

No - it's MY turn first! Get in the queue please, Ba. ;-)

7 Feb, 2010

 

Hey - the house next door is for sale ........

7 Feb, 2010

 

WOW!!!!!! How exciting! :-))))))))

7 Feb, 2010

 

love the fountians.how many gardens work there?

7 Feb, 2010

 

Gardeners? I'm afraid there was nobody to ask!

P.S. I'd volunteer like a shot, though. ;-)

7 Feb, 2010

 

Terry, if it was possible, I'd be there like a shot, don't know what your lovely cats would make of Rosie and Meg though:-)

7 Feb, 2010

 

We could share, Ba???

7 Feb, 2010

 

:-)

8 Feb, 2010

 

My little town is brimming with extremely friendly cats (strays and domestic) and dogs, so two more would be more than welcome !!! That's settled then you two - who's bringing the surveyor??

8 Feb, 2010

 

I'm afraid Meggy couldn't be referred to as dog friendly Terry, especially when on a lead:-( She was found on the streets shortly after having given birth, she was still losing blood and full of milk. Her womb was infected and no-one knows what happened to her puppies. She was quite poorly when we had her and she still thought she had her puppies. She and Rosie took to each other immediately (miracle) She was also obviously illtreated and was afraid of humans especially children. We've had her three years now and she's great with people and children now, and is not so bad with other dogs, but not too friendly unless it's a handsome male dog :-) Maybe the italian air will do the trick??

8 Feb, 2010

 

Oh Bornagain - how can people do that to animals? I simply cannot understand it. It's wonderful how you have loved her better.

Mmmmm, handsome male dog - I'm sure we could rustle one up for her. And as for the Italian air - I can vouch it works miracles ... !!!!

8 Feb, 2010

 

Hey - Isn't Henry handsome enough for her? (Well, I think he is!!)

8 Feb, 2010

 

Spritz, I'm sure Henry would be handsome enough, if she meets (off lead) a dog she likes, she goes all silly and floozyish. She's quite a clown dog really and likes to stick her bottom in the air for me to smack...there's nothing elegant about her....she makes me laugh a lot:-)

8 Feb, 2010

 

And why not? I'm always laughing at Henry - and did you read that dogs definitely CAN laugh? (I knew that already!!!)

8 Feb, 2010

 

I haven't read it, but I've always known it and they certainly have a sense of fun:-)

8 Feb, 2010

 

He giggles his head off when he brings one slipper nicely, then runs off with the other one!

8 Feb, 2010

 

I just wish mine would bring me anything even if they ran off with it, definitely not retrievers:-)

8 Feb, 2010

 

He was in trouble this afternoon when he came in the garden with me. He decided to bark his head off - and wouldn't stop - so I put him indoors. He hung on for a while and then started to howl - heart rending! I didn't give in, though, until I was fleecing the plants just before I came in. Lucky we haven't got neighbours that side!

8 Feb, 2010

 

Lovely Spritz
What a great trip and a fabulous garden
Thank you for sharing your holiday with us :)
Mine is over too and I am struggleing to get to chat with you all too much catching up to do !!!
My office looks like the bomb has landed!:(
Thank you once again :)

8 Feb, 2010

 

Lovely to see your photos hope to there myself next year.I've been to Lake Garda twice but we've booked in for a tour of Austria this year.

29 Mar, 2010

 

I like Lake Garda - but some parts are getting a bit over-commercialised, aren't they. We've been to Torbole, Malcesine and Limone. Austria is a beautiful country....

29 Mar, 2010

Add a comment

Recent posts by spritzhenry

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    21 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Feb, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2008

  • amy
    Amy

    Gardening with friends since
    17 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Jun, 2007

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 May, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    11 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    26 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Jan, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    31 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Jan, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Nov, 2008

  • uma
    Uma

    Gardening with friends since
    28 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    23 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    23 Jan, 2009