Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gardens Galore

Fountain in the Boboli Garden
     SH: We had a short week of classes this week because we were given the opportunity to travel on Monday and Friday. During the week on Thursday we went to Florence to visit the Boboli gardens. These were the gardens that correlate with the Pitti Palace. The gardens were quite large and were designed in several different layouts including the Italian garden. After we toured the Boboli Gardens we went to walk through the Bardini gardens which were right next to the first garden. From this garden we got a wonderful view of Florence. Later on in the afternoon we visited the Uffizi museum which is home to a variety of famous paintings including "The Birth of Venus" and "Primavera". The latter painting was filled with all types of plants you would find come spring time. Both paintings were very large and were quite impressive.

Pergola in Bardini Gardens
     On Friday morning, Bethany, Keith and I flew to Paris, France. We had a very full weekend with visits to sites including the Arc di Triumph, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and of course Versailles. The gardens of Versailles were immense in size and beauty. While we were there the musical fountain event was going on so at different times throughout the day music would play and the fountains would "dance" along with the melody. Seeing the fountains on display made the gardens even more impressive. All of the plants were well taken care of and it must be a massive job to keep up all of the flora. Around every corner there was another fountain, or another maze type passage way, or even a courtyard full of statutes. It was always a surprise to see what was around each corner and the three hours we spent there was no where near enough to see all of the garden. The inside of the palace was beautiful and elaborate as well. Some of my favorite rooms were the bedrooms because of the rich colors and plush furnishings.

Gardens of Versailles
As we walked around Paris I was amazed at the number of flower shops that we passed by. I recognized a lot of the flowers that they used but they also had some interesting flowers that I had not seen before. Flowers seem to be more prominent in Europe than in the United States and are not only given for special occasions. Who needs a special occasion when every day that we have should be celebrated and enjoyed to the fullest. 

Four Seasons

While we were in the Louvre we came across a set of paintings that we talked about during class. The four paintings are called the Four Seasons collectively and portray the profile of a man's face completely made up of different vegetables and fruits that are grown during each respective season. It is quite a bizarre idea but the artist did such a wonderful job that the paintings were really something to look at. Once I started looking for different plants in paintings I was amazed at how prevalent they are in all types of art. Horticulture surrounds us in everyday life from plants we see, to the food we eat, to the art on the wall. It has been such an amazing experience to be in a country that is exploding with such beautiful landscapes that I am able to enjoy everyday. 


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