Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give Thanks For Love And Gardens

The rose.
I cannot think of another flower that has the power of a rose.

Whether a single bloom, 

a dozen,

 or a field full,

nothing says it the same: I love you, 

Be Mine.

And, of course, there's the 'I'm sorry' bouquet.

So, while much of the USA is currently under unusually early blankets of November snow and an arctic blasts from the north,

let's take a break from weather reality and, albeit briefly,
fall under the spell of the one of the best rose gardens in the country.

The International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon is an elegantly designed garden, surrounded by tall shrubs and evergreens. I'm thankful on this Thanksgiving weekend, that I live on the west coast, with mild weather year round.

On a road trip from San Diego to Seattle this past summer, I took advantage of the opportunity to garden hop along the way. It was my first visit to this garden.

If you really are a rose lover, this is the one to see. 

Gorgeous blooms.

Trellises, leafy shrubs are studded with blooms. Grandifloras, and hybrids

 with meticulous borders

and a green arena. 
Despite the fabulous roses at this garden, I admit this was my favorite view.

I'm thankful for inspired garden designers and the beauty of nature.
I'm thankful for gardens, plants and blooms. They take me away to another place and 
bring joy to my day.

And I am so thankful for the love in my life.

This is GardenEnvy.

Copyright 2014 by Jeannine at
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Villa Cimbrone Rocks A View

The garden of Villa Cimbrone, in Ravello, Italy, 

has simple elegance,
 and a killer background.

American writer Gore Vidal once noted, "The most beautiful sight that I have ever seen in the world is the panoramic view from Villa Cimbrone on a bright winter's day, when the sky and the sea are so vividly blue that it is not possible to distinguish them from each other."

After all, why fool with Mother Nature?

Rustic pots and a stone wall combine with mountain ranges

manicured shrubs mix with tall evergreens.

This villa, dating back to the 11th century, is now a hotel. 

It has splendor and charm,


and romance,

 and Italian stone pines that frame a view of the city built into the hills.

Villa Cimbrone is worth a visit, whether you are going for a luxurious weekend 

or just a luxurious stroll in a garden with a view.

This is GardenEnvy.

Copyright 2014 by Jeannine at
 GardenEnvy logo by dezine9. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It Was In The Stars: A Visit To The Italian Garden Of Villa D'Este

On a recent spring trip to Italy, I found myself in a small town outside of Rome and the stars in the heavens were aligned in my favor. It was a constellation of circumstance lined up like Orion's belt. I had a rental car, my husband, who was willing to drive the Italian roadway, and the realization that we were about 40 minutes or so from Tivoli, home of the masterpiece Renaissance garden: Villa D'Este. Like the Palace at Versailles, this Italian garden had profound influence on gardens worldwide. 

We even had GPS, although that took us to a street that dead ended on a grassy road in front of a stone over pass. We were close to the Villa, according to a local, but after several attempts through narrow streets, rough roads and limited signage, we took her advice and parked, then walked up through the town to the Villa.

It was a charming peek into this village

in the Italian country side.

I had no idea what to expect at the Villa D'Este, but I was excited because I knew it was a must see garden. The courtyard was a peaceful spot where I rested for a short time before entering the villa.

I think I only stayed inside the Villa for a few minutes before finding this terrace. 

Our self-guided tour started with spectacular views of the garden below

and the country side. We stayed here for a while taking it all in.
I saw wisteria blooming in purple,


multiple trees covered in pink blossoms,

 pots filled with tulips 

and more tulips.

 There were lots and lots of 

 sunny, yellow tulips reflecting in the water of two back-to-back ponds.

If you love a garden with fountains (and who doesn't?), then Villa D'Este is a good one to see.

The Oval Fountain
There are 500 fountains in this garden (what?), which is built on two steep slopes and terraces down from the Villa. I'm thinking it must have been a hydraulic engineering nightmare in the 16th century, but I'm not surprised they pulled it off.

I have no idea if I saw 500 fountains, but this one is the show stopper. (It is actually a combination of two: the Water Organ fountain and the Neptune fountain.) It is about 80 feet tall and the sound of water is loud. I do know it will certainly be a fountain I won't forget. 

And, there is one other thing I won't forget--this:

 the best tiramisu ever, found at a restaurant we stopped at while walking back to our car.

This is GardenEnvy.

Copyright 2014 by Jeannine at
 GardenEnvy logo by dezine9. All Rights Reserved.