Guided tour




The panel in front of you and this audio guide will help you explore the site.

In the center of the panel, you can find a detailed map of the garden, while in the bottom left corner, you can find a legend with the points of interest that will be described in this audio guide.

On the lower right corner of the panel, you can find a drawing of the initial design that gave life to the present lay-out.

The vegetable garden is located on a lower level, about 5 meters below the garden and is completely encircled by walls. This feature recalls the “hortus conclusus,” the typical medieval garden that was used in monasteries to grow culinary and medicinal plants. Its enclosed structure followed the codes of the Benedictine Rule dictated by the monk St. Benedict of Nursia in 534 AD: an area dedicated to vegetables (horti), one to fruit trees (pomaria), one with trees and plants (viridaria), and finally one with medicinal herbs (herbaria).
In recent years, this space has gone through some substantial changes, with the contribution of landscape designer Monica Botta, who redesigned its layout.

She introduced some typical geometric elements from formal gardens that are found in the upper parterre, thus consolidating the transition from a traditional vegetable garden to a vegetable and flower garden. Since it is frequently and regularly opened to the public, we needed to find a balance between functionality, aesthetics, and use. This allows our garden to continue to produce home-grown vegetables and, at the same time, provide a multifunctional space for educational and cultural events, for leisure and well-being.

Within its perimeter, you can find geometric plots cultivated with vegetables as well as aromatic herbs, indicated by number 1. These are embellished with rectangles of flower beds, point number 2, which, during warm seasons, are enlivened with charming flowers, such as zinnias and other multicolor plants.

The vegetable garden produces a vast range of vegetables, from the most common ones to some unusual plants, or even those commonly grown in other countries. One of the principles that guide the choice of crops to sow each year is the preservation of agricultural biodiversity, to show the incredible variety of vegetables and fruit plants that humans have created throughout the centuries.

Our cultivation techniques are also based on low-impact management practices, as we try to favor life within it and not fight it, promoting for instance the presence of natural antagonists, which can slow down or contain the effects of pathogens that normally attack plants. We adopt cultivation techniques that exclude “invasive” treatments and favor the synergy between different plants, looking back to ancient practices in the light of the latest scientific research.

Planted along the perimeter wall, are some aromatic and shrubby plants, point 3. They grow all the way down to the lower corner, where there is a compost bin, another key element to support sustainability of our garden and house project.

As you walk on, you come across a small pergola with table grapes, point number 4, and an area dedicated to fruit trees, number 5, including an almond tree, a medlar tree, several apple trees, a quince tree, and a local ‘ramasin’ plum tree.

In the farthest corner, there is a small pond, point 6, connected to the bealera, number 7, a small artificial irrigation canal created in the fifteenth century. It runs along the wall and allows to water the green areas below.

Ideally closing our walk along the perimeter of the vegetable garden, is a small greenhouse that you can find on the map at point 8. It is used for the cultivation of winter salads, alongside some particular plants that, thanks to the mild temperature, find here their ideal site to grow: a myrtle and some caper plants that thrive, well protected between the wall bricks.

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2023 Fondazione Casa Lajolo | C.F. 97810560017 | P.I. 11729300019
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