Friday, June 22, 2012

The Medici Orangerie at the Boboli Garden

AJ: The Medici family had the incredible fortune of being fabulously wealthy.  With this wealth they built magnificent palaces.  Within the walls of these estates they flaunted their wealth with gardens.  One of these estates, Pitti Palace, boasts one of the most fabulous gardens one can explore, the Boboli Garden.  Citrus was a beloved fruit of the Italians, however due to the climate of Florence, and most of the northern half of the country, they were not able to grow subtropical fruits like citrus, unless protected from the cold during the winter.  This is where the garden orangerie came into play.  The spacious stone building was more a less a greenhouse that protected not only the oranges, but many species of plants during the cold winter months.  The orangerie was equipped with fireplaces inside to help maintain a more even temperature within the walls. This building is still functional today and is utilized by staff still to keep plants during winter months, but is also used as an event center.  The amazement of the orangerie does not stop there.  Outside there is a dazzling flower garden.  It twists and turns, there are arches covered in roses, and pots with the most wonderful smelling lavender. It begs to be explored and experienced by any plant lover.  I imagine that at night it could be lit and the perfect place for a romantic stroll with the one you love and the perfect place to get down on one knee and pop the question...


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