Hortus Romam 7 - Finiti

Gosh, I hear you say, another one?  When will this end?  This must be the longest 'what I did on my holidays ever!' I would apologise, but I would not mean it.  You are, however, at last at the end (please keep the cheering down to a dull roar).

Those who have been paying attention might recall that on the list of places to visit was the garden of Bomarzo, the garden of monsters. Indeed I have said that this garden was the one I wanted to see most of all.........

....... so where is the post about it?  Well, dear reader, we got as far as the car park.  I wish I had taken a photograph of the car park, but I was too busy sulking as it became clear we were not going to go in.  In fairness, it was late in the day and we had already walked miles and climbed many steps.  The garden takes a good hour to walk around and we would have been quite late back for dinner.  Reluctantly I had to agree it was probably (only probably) not realistic to go in.  I now really do need to return to this area as I still want to see this garden very much.  Sadly that is the price you have to pay when on a garden tour, you cannot suit yourself and you cannot make your own decisions about what you want to do.  I think it might be quite a while before I try another tour as I am definitely not suited to this sort of regimentation.
On saying that I did have a very good, enjoyable, holiday, I saw some amazing gardens that gave me a lot to think about.  I am genuinely pleased that I went.

Someone had said to one of our group that we would not like the Italian gardens.  Since returning people have said to me that Italian gardens leave them cold. Now obviously that is a bit of sweeping statement and I definitely was not left cold by the gardens we visited. I do, however, sort of understand the comments as they are not gardens I would wish to recreate (even if I had the money, right location etc).  They are gardens from a particular time and reflect a particular view of the world and how positions of wealth and power can be reflected through landscape.  What the holiday did give me, overwhelmingly, was a greater sense of garden history and more understanding of the influences that inspired the gardens that we enjoy and create ourselves today.  This is why I loved visiting the grand villa gardens so much was that they gave me a real feeling of walking through history.
 Did I get home full of ideas of what I want to plant and wishing to change my garden's theme?  No.  Much as I loved Ninfa I am not sure it translates to a Leicester suburban back garden. I have developed an abiding love of stone pines though.
and happy memories of olive groves.

Hortus Romam 1 - Rome

Hortus Romam 2 - Villa Adriana

Hortus Romam 3 - Villa Lante

Hortus Romam 4 - Villa Farnese

Hortus Romam 5 - Villa D'Este

Hortus Romam 6 - Ninfa


  1. Sorry to hear that you weren't able to visit Bomarzo...definitely next time! I have seen it on TV and in books and am quite disturbed by all the massive sculptures, so it isn't one I'd feel terribly comfortable visiting. (I have watched 'Blink' rather too much, I think and a vivid imagination is not a good thing sometimes)
    I have really enjoyed sharing your trip and would love to visit Ninfa one day.
    Best wishes

    1. Blink is my all time favourite Doctor Who episode, yet I still love gardens with sculpture and this one sounded so fantastical I really wanted to do in. Oh well- there will hopefully be a next time....

  2. Missing Bomarzo is a real pity. It is a strange place, sometimes atmospheric, sometimes kitschy in a way that reminded me of Disneyland. The tour group I took there split evenly on liking or disliking it, but the fact that it was raining part of the time we were there may have accounted for some of the negatives.

    I agree completely with your response to visiting gardens in Italy. As you say, they are from a particular time and reflect a particular view of the world and how wealth and power were reflected through landscape. Seeing them is essential, I think, if we are to understand the influences that shaped the gardens that followed.

    I've enjoyed reading your pieces... too bad the trip wasn't longer so you could write about more!

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment, probably best that the tour was not much longer, it means I do have to return.

  3. Another enjoyable visit to your blog. I too love the Stone Pine. JC

  4. Sorry you didn't get to see Bomaizo, but as you say, next time! Really enjoyed reading about the many gardens you did see, and hearing your observations. Haven't been to the Italian gardens...so much history, and structure and sculpture...Lots to contemplate and absorb. Thanks for sharing : )


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