For many years, I have been captivated by enchanted gardens--gardens that are lush, alluring, romantic, and fascinating. These are gardens that, when entered, bring about a sense of awe and wonder. Colors, fragrance, and textures abound. Plants and trees have grown to a size that is manageable, and yet, breathtaking. At every turn, there is a beautiful surprise and more for the eyes to feast upon.
|My Front Garden|
Although I aspire to create such a garden, it will take years to achieve the enchantment that a more mature garden can exude with its trailing vines and shade canopies of older trees. In time, I hope to create the romance and the charm of an enchanted garden.
How to Create an Enchanted Garden
1. Create garden rooms with groupings of plants or varied designs in each room.
|Montpelier Herb Garden|
2. Create wandering paths from garden room to garden room where each garden room is not visible to another.
3. Select plants that will offer interest over time, such as vines that will grow and trail beautifully over a fence or arbor or ground covers that will spread through a garden room floor.
|Cypress Vine at the Entrance to My Vegetable Garden with Ruby-throated Hummingbird|
4. Plant for seasonal interest throughout the four seasons.
|Redbud and Cherry Tree in Spring|
5. Use plants in the garden to attract wildlife.
|Painted Lady Butterfly|
One of my favorite enchanted gardens is Ninfa near Rome, Italy. It is often considered the most romantic garden in the world.
Its beauty is so seductive that I hope to actually visit someday. To wander the paths along the stone ruins or smell the wisteria as it drapes down to the garden floor or step on the old bridges overlooking the river would be a joy indeed. My fascination for this garden continues as I just recently bought and read a book on this garden. I have chosen this book for this month's Garden Book Review hosted by Holley at Roses and Other Gardening Joys.
Title: Ninfa, The Most Romantic Garden in the World
Author: Charles Quest-Ritson
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Limited, 2009
It is a book that describes the history of Ninfa and how it came to be as beautiful as it is today. It has been through war, neglect, and restoration. Ninfa reminds me of an old and beautiful woman who has seen and been through it all and has come through with unequaled wisdom and grace.
This book is filled with photos of the allure of this garden.
Many old building ruins remain and seem to accent the garden with character and elegance.
In the chapter, Ninfa Today, secrets are revealed, such as where the best place would be to enter the garden.
Other chapters discuss the garden through the seasons and what the future holds for Ninfa. But however interesting I find the written word in this book, the photographs of the various elements of this garden are what bring me back to it over and over again.
© copyright 2012 Michelle A. Potter