Flower Magazine

JAN-FEB 2019

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

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J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 | 39 had Villa Pliniana built in Torno. And again a few years later Gallio would buy Villa Balbiano from the Giovio family. Villas continued to be built in the seventeenth century, despite the wars, famines, and plagues: Villa Monastero and Villa Gallia both date from this period. Documents and land surveys from the 1500s and 1600s tell of the birth of gardens which would gradually beautify and extend the vegetable gardens, orchards, and olive groves. In the mid 1500s, the existence is noted of numerous citrus groves, which were also cultivated in monasteries. In Gravedona, Varenna, and Bellagio, alongside the citruses the first decorative species began to appear, such as myrtle, rosemary, junipers, and cypresses, but also roses and jasmine. During the eighteenth century, Como's gardens were embellished following the Italian and French formal models: the beds traced arabesque designs made with box hedges, colored gravel, and flowers. Villa Clerici, later Villa Carlotta, is an admirable example and its old layout is documented in the etchings of the Ville di delizia by Marc'Antonio Dal Re. Also dating from this period are Villa Sola Cabiati, then the summer residence of the Serbelloni dukes, and Villa Balbianello. In the meantime, the trend for the Grand Tour, a preroga- tive in the education of young English aristocrats, spread around Europe, involving the nobility, upper classes, artists, and writers. Hence, the lake became a fashionable place, helped by the healthy climate, the varied and unexpected landscapes, and the splendid villas overlooking it. "It has become, so to speak, the place for all of the cultured world (...) and now not only Lombard nobles, but also Russian dukes, princes and German princesses, ballerinas and Parisian bankers possess a winter palace in Berlin or St. Petersburg, in Milan or in Venice, and also a villa on Lake Como." The words are those of German geographer and trav- eler, Johann Georg Kohl, who ABOVE: The fountain at Villa Olmo is the work of nineteenth-century Milanese sculptor Gerolamo Oldofredi. OPPOSITE: The atmospheric setting of Villa Balbianello has made it a favorite with filmmakers since the 1940s. PREVIOUS SPREAD: At Villa Balbianello, the columns on the Cardinal's loggia, which overlooks the lake, are wrapped in Ficus pumila, a climbing plant common around Lake Como.

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