This evening’s post is more a visual story, an opportunity to share a collection of photos showcasing Italy’s love of flowers and plants. One thing I noticed in the cities and villages was a lack of grassy yards. The charming cobblestone streets were lined with interesting shops that opened directly off the lanes. People lived in the floors above the shops.
In the more residential areas, large wooden doors also opened directly off of the streets, without porches or yards. There were paved courtyards and wide piazzas made of bricks or stones, but no areas of lawn.
Typical residential lane in Lucca, Italy.
In spite of a lack of yards and green spaces in urban areas, I was delighted to discover that the Italians love their plants and flowers. I only had to look up, away from the ground, to find the gardens of Italy.
Balconies become miniature gardens in Italy. Geraniums were favorites for containers. Notice Lucca’s bell tower in the background, and in the pic below. There are trees growing atop it!
Clever plant holder in the village of Monterosso.
Vines and containers in San Gimignano.
Jasmine is very common in Italy, clinging to walls and archways. It was in full bloom when we were there, scenting the air.
Tucked into a courtyard in Venice.
In the Tuscany region, there were fields of vineyards, groves of olive trees and clusters of tall, skinny cedars and umbrella pines. In those rural areas, there was an abundance of flora and lush, green growth. I loved the Tuscan countryside.
However, I also appreciated the amazing beauty found in villages and towns…flowers and trees, vines and shrubs, all planted in containers. My gardener’s heart was filled with joy as I wandered the narrow streets. I often lagged behind as our group walked, my head tilted back, taking in the tiny gardens of Italy.
It seemed there was always a way to bring nature into a space, no matter how small that space. A balcony of flowers here, a single potted plant there, a stone archway covered with sweetly scented jasmine…the people of Italy are people after my own heart.
They surround themselves with growing, flowering plants. They surround themselves with incredible beauty.