I always loved the gardens in Italy ( as well as English gardens of course). Some years ago I spent a few days in Pompeii exploring courtyards of ruined ancient villas. The Romans really perfected leisure time, – or they invented it!!
Ancient Roman gardens were full of roses, lilies, anemones, violets, poppies, and herbs, and families went about their daily business beside the central courtyard The rooms of the house surrounded the garden and because of the Mediterranean weather people ate dinner and entertained guests under the portico or in the courtyard for much of the year. The inside walls of their homes as well, were often covered in garden frescoes.
Floral variety was limited because many flowers had not yet been imported from the far east and other places . They wouldn’t have Calibrachoa or New Zealand Flax ( growing in a pot on my deck). Still the Ancient Romans loved nature, be it woodland, orchard or garden and wrote poems and odes to their glories, so in tribute to the old gods, Pomona, Flora and Faunus I include two thoughts from an ancient time that remain true to this day.
‘If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.’ Cicero