Stemma della Villa Grabau

Page: 1 - 2

In the background a 200-year-old
example of a smooth Arizona cypress

The vegetable Essences:

The vast park which extends around Villa Grabau is definitely one of the most interesting in the Lucchesian area, both for its richness of rare trees and plants and for its design. The park is believed to have been originally designed in the 16th century, when the Villa itself was erected.

We believe that it was mostly made up of autoctone trees, native of the area and of notable dimensions. These trees formed, and still do, large wooded areas around the walled perimeter of the park.

They included some spectacular species of trees such as the common Oak (Quercus robur), the Holm Oak (Quercus ilex), the Homebeam (Carpinus betulus), the Broad-leaved Lime (Tilia plathyphyllos), the Country Maple tree, the English Holly (Ilex aquifoliam), etc... Within these woods shady pathways, lined with common Box trees (Buxus Sempervirens) and Yews (Taxus baccata), were later designed to twist and wind mysteriously from one end of the garden to the other, typical of the romantic 18th century garden "à l'italienne" which was meant to enchant and amuse the stroller.

California Incense Cedar tree in
symbiosis with the holly bush which
grew spontaneously beside it

The most extraordinary section of the park however, for its exotic and rare vegetation, is the 19th century garden "à l'anglaise". Set against an evergreen background, one can admire many majestic species, such as the Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), the America West Coast Redwood Sequoia (Sequoia sempervirens), the Atlas Ceder (Cedrus Atlantica), the Arizona Cyprus Pyramidalis (Cupressus arizonica), and the fragrant Olive tree (Osmanthus fragrans), just to mention a few.

It is believed that several of these species came from the Botanical Gardens in Lucca during the mid 1800's, as the botanists began trading exotic plants and rare trees with other Botanical Gardens world-wide. Thus, many trees unknown to the area at the time, were diffused throughout some of the most important parks in Lucca. One of the many rare species in the park, is the so called "Banana Bush" or Magnoliaceae (Michelia Figo), thus nicknamed for the scent of ripe bananas which permeates from its large white flowers in Springtime.

The only other example of this tree in the Lucchesian area is at the Botanical Gardens in Lucca. The Magnoliaceae is often mentioned in garden books as being a non-rustic tree, and therefore should grow only in silicon fertile soil: however, the existence of these two secular examples in Lucca, seems to now disprove this textbook theory. (This tree can be found in the garden "à l'italienne" to the left of the cone shaped Magnolia tree). The rarest tree in the park, unique to Lucca for its presence at Villa Grabau, is the Quercus x andleyensis, a sterile hybrid which results from the manmade crossbreeding between the Holm Oak and the Common Oak.

In the background a 200-year-old example of a smooth
Arizona cypress

Its leaves are very decorative, variable in form, and shiny green. (This tree can be found on the west side of the park, to the far left of the garden "à l'anglaise", behind the Cupressus Arizonica). During the early 20th century, several additions were made to the garden "à l'anglaise", mostly inkeeping with the "Liberty" style of the time. The most important of these was the introduction of the Palm tree. Two species deserving a mention include a majestic specimen of the California Desert Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) and the Canary Islands Date Palm (Phoenix Canariensis). (Both palm trees can be found along the driveway, to the left of the central lawn).

One can observe, when visiting the park of the Villa Grabau, how the plants and trees, brought together over the time due to the changing of fashions, work harmoniously together, without in anyway annulling the beauty of those that came before, thus creating a well proportioned and spectacular park. (Angelo Lippi - Director of the Botanical Garden of Lucca)

The main plants in the park have a tag with their name and origin so as they can be easily recognised on the special map

Trees and Shrubs Present in Villa Grabau Park



album fotografico

Page: 1 - 2

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!

banner prenota vacanza