Thursday, June 8, 2017

A little bit of England in the middle of Florence

Firenze, Toscana, Italy

We spent all week learning about different gardens around the world: Italian gardens, Chinese gardens, Japanese gardens, French gardens, Spanish gardens, gardens of the ancient world, and the list goes on and on. The kind that struck me the most due to the simplicity it has while still holding a nonchalant sort of order to it is the English garden. We took a trip to the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy, and explored the grounds for quite a while. We walked into the English garden right after seeing the splendor and opulence of the more Italian looking garden with the fountains and statues and the juxtaposition of the clean lines and definition from the central Italian garden and the whimsical and natural feel of the English garden really caught me off guard.

The wide, street like path became a small gravel road. The open allée of Italian cypress trees became a canopy of many different varieties of trees, none of which screamed ITALY to me.
  The perfectly manicured trees and hedges became more natural looking. It felt as though I went from the vast gardens surrounding an Italian villa to a small path in the English countryside. The fact that the atmosphere was so greatly changed just by manipulating the plants around me is fascinating to me, and I am excited to see more of the different kinds of gardens we have learned about as our trip continues!

Chris Anderson

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