We are creating a display garden here at Casa Nova, where you will be able to see irises alongside some of the plants that best complement them. This slideshow shows a few photos of the creation of the display garden. There are raised beds for bearded irises, boggy areas and a pond for waterloving irises and beds displaying irises alongside peonies, roses, clematis and an array of perennials. You can follow our work in progress photo album on flickr and we are also posting updates on our blog. We will be adding lots more photos in due course.
The gardens are in a beautiful location, with panoramic views across the Niccone valley to a grand amphitheatre of mountains, the Marche to the East, Umbria to the South and Tuscany to the West. We hope to create a garden that is worthy of its theatrical setting and allows time and space for contemplation. The intention is to open the display gardens to visitors during the iris season. They will also provide a year-round amenity for guests renting our two holiday rental properties on the Casa Nova estate.
To date we have over 550 cultivars of bearded irises, over 180 types of roses, both classical and modern, over 110 types of peonies and over 50 types of clematis, as well as an array of Siberian irises, hardy geraniums, other herbaceous perennials, grasses and bamboos. The lower part of the Casa Nova estate was cleared of old, exhausted apple orchards a year ago. We have planted olives on the top section and the rest is reserved for the gardens.
We drew up the plans in 2014 (quite literally, drawing everything out on a 5 metre wide topographical map in 1:50 scale). In the autumn of 2015 we built and planted the raised display beds for irises, which you can see just coming into flower for the first time in the photos above. In 2016 we built a pond for water irises, constructed a stream and waterfalls, built pergolas and landscaped a series of terraces to create walks between mixed borders of irises, peonies, clematis and roses.
Whilst the garden will be brand new and will obviously need some time to mature, there should still be an impressive display in May-June of 2018. When we are confident that it will indeed be visitable by then, we will post further details of opening time and location in our FAQs. There will be a small charge to subsidise the upkeep of the gardens. However, please note that all visits will be by appointment and the gardens will shut to visitors when the iris season closes.