NM: Last thursday, the 12th of June, our group toured Vatican City. The tour started in the Gardens of the Vatican prior to entering the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. The above picture is a flower garden shaped as the Coat of arms of Pope Francis. The Vatican Gardens featured characteristic of gardens (I apologize for the repetitiveness but I can't think of a better way to phrase this) from several different regions of the world. We were first greeted with a few gardens bearing the characteristics of Italian gardens with an emphasis on symmetry and geometric patterns, giving the observer a feeling of the power of man in the process of creation. Another feature of Italian gardens that was present in the Vatican was the use of orange and lemon trees, and short shrubbery in general. The tour of the gardens continued upward until we were greeted with a stunning view of St. Peter's Basilica and the chirping of parrots. The parrots are nonnative to Italy, and were most likely brought to the city to inhabit the massive palm trees, although they are a nuisance to some of the other plants in the gardens. After walking through several rose gardens the tour came to an end in by walking through several English themed gardens. The characteristic of the English garden include a feeling of nature controlling the process of creating, a polar opposite to the Italian garden. The English gardens were not symmetrical; forcing us to weave our way through the tall, overgrown bushes and trees. The English gardens contained little other than green vegetation, with the occasional dismantled ancient ruins (meant to look dismantled in accordance with the prevailing nature conquers man theme).