Four gardens, three trips
These are the gardens
Naples Botanic Garden
Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone at Ravello on the Amalfi/Positano coast
La Mortella on Ischia
My son lives in Vico Equense on the Sorrento peninsula and we visit him regularly. This time we brought gardening friends Mike and Isobel and stayed in Sorrento
Classic Sorrento scene
Note the huge cowboy cactus which is a euphorbia and not a cactus at all!
Our 230 euros bought us eight hours with a taxi. The driver had difficulty comprehending that we wished to go straight to Ravello and stay there for four hours. No stops, just straight there! His little rewards at tourist hot spots visibly evaporated! It is a magnificent drive and you see most of the classical places.
Both Ravello gardens are on high with magnificent views.
|We started with a coffee
The Rufolo garden inspired the magic garden in Richard Wagner’s opera Parsifal.
|It inspires artists too
On a site with a thousand year history it boasts magnificent plant bedding. We loved it and I was charmed by the magnificent impatiens!
The background planting contains mature and rare shrubs, wall climbers and trees. Many were beyond botanist Mike’s and my own identification!
|Superb umbrella pines
|A label informed us that this is a climbing bean tree
|We failed to identify this bulb
|And this weed
|Try your italian
Naples Botanic Garden
|There are wonderful mature trees
We took the morning ferry to Naples, popped on the metro and were very soon there. (The magnificent new metro station is very easy to navigate, and Tim was there to hold our hand).
|The water hyacinth is confined to a small pond. In the tropics this nitrogen fixer is an invasive aquatic weed
(Some of the readers who read about my first unaccomplished mission might remember that the last time we failed to make our garden destination was in Costa Rica).
We failed to show our friends our very favourite garden! Created by gardening genius Lady Susana Walton, wife of serial philanderer composer William Walton. Strictly translated mortella means ‘the myrtles’ and on a scrubby cliff bank this Argentinian lady fashioned her masterpiece.
The visit was to be the high point at the end of our holiday. Unfortunately the sea was rough and the ferry was cancelled all day. Sorry no pictures and you will have to wait for our visit next year!
Meanwhile two tips for you! Arrange your trip to Ischia for early in your holiday and do not go on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. It is a long way to go and to find the garden closed!
Memories of Sorrento
|The olives were being harvested during our stay
After my post about cyclamen I regretted stating this species was scented and failed detect any odour in every flower I sniffed. In Sorrento the mountain sides were pervaded with its exquisite delicate perfume
|Cyclamen neapolitanum (If you are near Naples)
The picture of our favourite restaurant, The Favorita was taken to illustrate bad tree staking for my next post!
The restaurant opens like a tardis from its small street frontage into a huge Mediterranean indoor garden. It is the best place to eat in Sorrento and we ate almost all our evening meals there.