Orticolario 2012 - Giardino d’amor novo

My show garden composed of edible flowers and herb seats wins first prize at Orticolario 2012!

Orticolario is a garden and plant show that takes place in October in Cernobbio, on Lake Como. I was invited to create a garden for the 2012 edition, in collaboration with Marco Carmazzi's nursery. My garden responds to the thoughts evoked by his spectacular plant production. Marco is specialized in edible flowers, herbs, and grows over one thousand varieties of Chili Peppers. The plants, all organically grown, are so lovely and scented that I'd just like to sit among them, nibble them and eat them with my eyes - it must be love! I created a garden with seats that hark back to the Medieval turf seat, found in images of the garden of Love.

turf seat

In the illustration to a racy novella by Boccaccio, the lady sits on a turf seat

The garden is flanked by two miniature cloisters which refer to other traditional location of turf seats, the Madonna's garden, location of spiritual love. In a twist on traditional medieval-style gardens, the quadrants of the cloister have been planted up with strawberries, which are not only delicious, but a symbol of the Passion found in religious paintings, and the plants in the garden include fiery chili-peppers, reminder of the spice - and danger - of love.

colour sketch orticolario

Sketch proposal for Orticolario

The benches have been planted up with Savory (Satureja montana), which can easily be mistaken for thyme. An evergreen aromatic plant, it made a perfect soft seat on which to lie, contemplating the cloister with its gravel path. Behind the bench is a table-top planting, brought up close to see, smell, and taste the flowers and herbs.

chiostro 1

Herb benches backed by tapestry of edible flowers

 On paper, the "Giardino d'Amor Novo" was as symmetrical design for a rectangular space of 20 x 2.5 metres. In practice, the design was adapted for an area 21 metres long, which narrowed to 1.2 metres and bulged to 3.7 metres in a sort of butterfly shape. The cloisters remained at either end, the benches were moved closer together, and a long curvilinear border on one side inspired me to plant in waves of colours.

chiostro 2

Waves of colourful chili peppers radiate from behind the second cloister

Copyright © 2017 Anna Piussi. All Rights Reserved. Text and images belong to Anna Piussi unless otherwise stated.