Stemma della Villa Grabau

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The Lemon Tree Greenhouse

Every winter over 100 lemon trees from around the park are placed in the "Limonaia". This extraordinary construction is characterized by an architecture of great importance: it has seven oval stone-framed windows, placed above seven large porticoes all marked in ashlar-work. Its large wooden doors are usually kept open during the day, both for ventilation and sunshine, and then closed at night to protect the plants from the cold.

Ancient original antique palette indicating
the position of the vases of lemon trees

This particular greenhouse was especially used to enrich the garden with rare and expensive plants, and this probably derived from the botanical interest of the time in unusual kinds of flora. The birth of qualified collectors, characterized by a competitive hunt for rare species, confirms the importance that was attributed to the embellishment of the garden considered to be the affirmation of prestige.

The Winter greenhouse, on the other side of the park, houses most of the flowers of the park from winter to spring. It once allowed the production of the first vegetables for the table and answered the necessity of renewing the flower- beds with early sowings of annual plants. It is a long rectangular building with a glass façade, and it is indicated in the contract of sale, dated 1868, as a "building with stoves". On its right side there is a once roofed light enclosure, realized with irregular blocks of tufa, round three semi-circular basins, probably destined to acclimatize varieties of exotical, water and rock plants.

Inside the Limonaia stands a small Wall-fountain from which water spouts out through a Marble Head of notable importance: it represents Bacchus crowned with vine-leaves, grapes and flowers. Every lemon tree has its particular place in the greenhouse, row by row, as it is illustrated by a small painted palette which hangs, still today, from one of the large doors

Click here for Proposals of service in the Lemon Greenhouse

veduta esterna della limonaia
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