A Garden in Venice

This is a garden with a special history, located on the ancient island of Ombriola. Discover it in this article on our blog.

Lina’s Garden has always been a fragrant paradise. You notice it on a spring or summer day, drawing back the curtains, opening the French windows and walking out on the terrace.

It’s a sprawling garden, consisting of a courtyard, a sunny terrace on the first-floor, balconies and roof-top terraces. The herb garden on the terrace can be reached directly from the kitchen via a wrought-iron staircase and is home to sun-loving herbs like lavender, rosemary, thymes and erba cristallina (which tranlates as crystal herbs). Laurel, mints, sage, geranium and parsley and myrtle grow in terracotta pots. 

Below the terrace is the green oasis with a wilderness of fig and olives, pomegranates, lemon, tangerine and kumquat trees. A pergola overgrown with uva fragola is a haven for the birds (sparrows, doves, blackbirds mostly).

Once there was even a woodpecker living in this garden! In a sunny corner, vegetables grow and more herbs like which get shade from pink hydrangea. Other plants are yucca, pittosporum, ivy, irises, lilies-of-the-valley and pink and white oleanders. Damascene roses whose petals go into our rose syrup (Lina has friends on the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni). That’s a wealth to use up in the kitchen, to cook, bake and make syrups, mustards and preserves from. Here’s just a little taste …

Venice can be a jungle as you can see in these pictures …

Venice has kept the knowledge of fresh, unprocessed food. Vegetables and fruit full of colors and energy. Peas, spinach, salads, herbs, carrots, tomatoes, artichokes… all delivered freshly from the Lagoon islands.

 

In healthy cooking, Grandmother has learnt much from the convents in Venice and the Lagoon. San Lazzaro degli Armeni. San Zaccaria. Gli Scalzi … A favorite remedy against migraines and fatigue of ours is melissa water produced in a cloister garden in town. They use le aromatiche – aromatics, aromatherapy being at the heart of their pharmaceutical tradition.

It was – and still is – such a quiet garden. When you live in Venice, you can hear the sounds of footsteps or porters transporting the baggage of visitors at all times of the day. It seems, though, that our jungle somehow muffles every noise, except the chirping of the birds.

 

Summer figs so ripe and sweet from the tree …

Discover Lina’s recipes with garden fruit in our Food Blog Section