All posts filed under: Gardens To Explore

Upper Barrakka Gardens , Valletta, Malta

Upper Barrakka Gardens

Wandering the narrow streets of the historic Maltese capital Valletta just a couple of weeks ago, my wife Janet, two friends and I made our way slowly upwards to the Upper Barrakka Gardens, the highest point on the ancient city walls and one of Malta’s most spectacular viewpoints. Our efforts were well rewarded – the panoramic view of the Grand Harbour across to the Three Cities is simply breathtaking… The Barrakka Gardens themselves are of historical and architectural interest, as well as being a tranquil haven for foot-weary travellers. Originally constructed as a place of relaxation for the Italian Knights of St. John, the gardens are now a public open space and home to a collection of commemorative statues, including a bust of Sir Winston Churchill and a replica of Les Gavroches by Antonio Sciortino (the original was removed and is now housed in the National Museum of Fine Arts).  

The beautiful Chihuly Glass and Garden in Seattle.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

There’s a city centre garden in the North West corner of the USA that is, I would suggest, totally unique. Whilst there are plenty of gardens worldwide that feature contemporary art installations – gardening and art are natural partners after all – this combined garden and sculpture gallery in its space age setting is something really rather special. Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Space Center combines the work of world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly with creative modern architecture and innovative garden landscaping. The overall effect is truly spectacular. You can read about the background to the exhibition, the dedicated building and how the designers arrived at their choice of planting in this Seattle Times 2012 web article here. My October visit was rewarded with a showing of late-season grasses in full flow, and timed for dusk so as to experience the best combination of daylight and artificial lighting on the colourful sculptures and carefully crafted planting schemes. There’s only one word to describe the garden, and that’s ‘breathtaking’! I hope my photographs will …

The Dragon Canal at Bardini Garden, Florence

The Bardini Garden

On a recent trip to Florence with my wife Janet and photographer friend Martyn we took some time out to visit the famous Boboli Garden, part of the historic Palazzo Pitti, the largest museum complex in Europe. Our short holiday was more of a culinary and cultural city break rather than a grand garden tour, but even considering the time of year this opportunity to take in one of Italy’s renowned classical gardens was too good to miss. Although the Boboli Garden was indeed impressive in a grand yet minimalist Italian way, the ticket also included entry to another Renaissance garden, tucked away down a quiet, narrow street just a short stroll away. The recently opened and little-known Bardini Garden is a much more intimate affair, with an Anglo-Italian feel and views across the city of Florence to match anything that the Boboli Garden has to offer. A real bonus! Reading the brochure it became obvious (though not exactly a surprise) that this is a garden for the spring and early summer, boasting collections of azaleas, viburnum …