GARDEN The garden and terrace of aromas

The Museo Villoresi garden and terrace feature more than 80 different aromatic plants. The plants top off the museum itinerary, allowing visitors to discover the inebriating scent emanating directly from the leaves and flowers, and from the rinds of the fruits and berries.

Many of them, like Cinnamon or Michelia Champaca develop into trees, but in our climate they wouldn’t be able to properly grow so we prefer to keep them in vases.

The citrus collection includes bergamot, lemon and tangerine, but also the unusual Citrus Hystrix as wall as the Yuzu, known as the Japanese orange. Classic favourites include the rose  (Rosa Damascena and Rosa Centifolia, the two varieties employed in perfumery), the gardenia and jasmin (Grandiflora and Sambac). And then Olea Fragrans, Osmanthus (which flowers twice yearly in Tuscany), Frangipane, Vetiver, Patchouli and many more.

MAY-JUNE This month in the garden

The re-opening of the garden always involves a number of tasks: plants that have been kept indoors, like frangipane, patchouli or cinnamon, are transferred outside, while citrus plants, which were gathered together before the winter and protected with a cloche, are uncovered and put back in their positions, so they can reveal the vibrant blossom developed during the winter months.
This is not the time for big gardening jobs, but we can remove tips and small dry twigs, lightly work the soil and fertilise it with natural materials, such as ground lupini beans

Flowering now:

  • Among the first to flower are the violets. Even though we are all familiar with the inebriating scent of the flowers, we extract the precious absolute from the leaves.
  • The rich citrus blossom carries both the flowers and the fruit grown during the winter, for example bergamot, citron, grapefruit, combava, lime and yuzu.
  • This is also the time for Iris to flower.
  • Calendula is a lovely orange colour. This deceptively simple plant, from which a delicate essential oil is extracted, possesses many therapeutic properties.
  • The lilac, with its beautiful clusters of flowers, comes in a variety of colours. Ours is a pale light purple.