Sunday, June 10, 2012

Timeless Innovation in the Boboli Garden

CC:Tuesday we traveled to Florence and had the privilege of visiting the Boboli Garden located behind the Pitti Palace. The Boboli garden is a spectacular piece of landscape that spans over 110 acres and is a prime example of a historic Italian garden. Historical Italian features such as symmetry, precision cutting and lack of color are apparent throughout the garden. The feature I found the most interesting was the Fountain of Mostaccini which is located on the outer edge. The fountain is constructed of a series of small tanks that step down and flow into one another through masks. The flow is water is controlled by a central canal that extends from the top of the fountain down to the bottom tank. This structure began appearing in the majority of gardens and estates around the 16th century not only for aesthetic purposes but also as a technique for hunting. The fountain was placed in conjunction with a ragnaia which is referred to as a grove of trees that held nets called ragne. The function of the netting was to capture small birds as an additional source of food supply. During the warmer months of the year catching sufficient game was done with ease, but during the autumn and winter months this practice was proved to be much more challenging. To improve the odds of hunting success, plants that would yield fruit during the cold season were placed around the fountains as an additional attraction. Overall, the Boboli Garden is amazing and it showcases many modern innovations throughout the centuries.

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