Renaissance Fortress garden on Tuscan island (part 2)
An army of plants brings the Fort's parade grounds back to life
On the North-west side of the fortress the huge Piazza d'armi, once the drill and parade grounds for the military garrison housed there, required a more formal layout. In keeping with its original military role, the area was kept open in the centre, and planted with two rows of bitter orange trees, surrounded by long borders of mixed planting.
Planting the large orange trees was a military operation in its own right, as we hit the underlying rockface on which the fort is built when digging their planting holes, and had to keep digging pairs of deep holes until we could plant all six in proper alignement.
In keeping with the Fort's current life as private residence, the stark military appearance of the façade has been softened by borders which spill over the sides, as plumbago and scandent rosemary are encouraged to climb through the railings.