Palermo Palms




Villa Julia in Palermo sits facing the coast and uses the brisk sea air to make the perfect environment for the arid plants that thrive in this botanic garden.  The forest garden techniques of planting vegetation at different levels (the oldest technique of horticulture) are referenced with Palms standing as sky scrapers looking down on hip height hedges.

Read about my earlier post about a Welsh Physic Garden here

The benches and busts of benefactors offer plenty of spots to sit and chill, even though the Summer sun is relentless.  The oldest architecture around the park are of bricks and ruined foundations.  The history of this square tells the worst of the Spanish Inquisition was engaged here.  Italy in the late seventeenth century supported Spain in the country’s war against France.  As a reward for Italy’s support Spain financed public gardens across Europe and allowed protection so the smaller Italian Islands could be inhabited.


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In the early 1600’s something magical happened in the land masses known as the Aeolian Islands.  A volcano was inhabited (Stromboli) and the larger of the Islands (Lipari) became a dominant community.   The need the inhabitants had for self sufficiency created the most ambitious planting scheme that also referenced the mainland Italian gardens.  Most of the European designs could be traced back to the influential medieval Garden of the Vatican created by Pope Nicholas III.  This started as an orchard but was revolutionary for creating a productive garden alongside ornamental architecture and planting.

Scratching the surface today over espresso in Palermo has revealed the Palms hide a tall story about the origin of the park they decorate today.  Gruesome history always seems to have facilitated  a burst of development that has enhanced civilisation.  There are no clouds in the sky but for sure they would have a silver lining!


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27 thoughts on “Palermo Palms

    • I guess the Scottish rain makes the gardens all the more beautiful! 😀

      I am so enjoying your site. I love your eclectic guest list for Mad Hatters Tea Party post! What a joyful blog.


      • True, Scotland might have very wet weather, but it does indeed have it’s awe inspiring natural beauty too!

        That’s very sweet of you, thank you so much!! It truly appreciate every visit and read.

        May I say, it is an absolute pleasure to read your posts, and I love how you combine them with your own taken photos!!!
        For some reason though, although I am following your blog I have not received the usual notifications on my news feed about your new posts, could be a WP issue 😦


      • *beaming* Thank you hugely for the thumbs up Naziyah! Means so much 😀

        Yes I know I heard this from a few other bloggers that my new post notifications don’t reach them! Gah. I will chat to the lovely folk at WP! Thanks for letting me know.

        Here’s to a great week ahead and looking out for your next post Naziyah. You are a strong writer.


      • And I will be happily anticipating your next wonderful posts!
        (Also, I always love looking through the colourful photos you put up!)
        I’ll be sure to just come by your page since there seems to be a WP glitch
        Keep them coming!!!

        Have a fantastic week 🙂


  1. Great pics. You’ve inspired me to go through some old photos to see what we’ve got here. It might take a while, though. It would have been done on film. Coconut palms are so photogenic – they’re really worth it.


    • Thank you so much! I found the palms to be so dreamy. I am thrilled to read your latest tip for preserving Zucchini. The recipe will remind me of happy Italian holidays! I always pick up some great new recipes in your posts.

      I love old photos, they bring back so many stories and memories of life before the mobile phone!! Here’s to a great week ahead.


  2. I like your last paragraph about the burst of development after the dark past. How layered life is! Just saw a bit of a travelogue on Warsaw I believe it was, sixty to eighty percent destroyed and restored! Perhasp our landscapes and scenery may be like sets for plays, as we work out our human drama!
    Thanks for the lushness!


    • Thank you for your brilliant post on Separation! You address the topic with wisdom. Great to be in touch via WP!

      Thank you for this gorgeous comment. The Warsaw travelogue sounds insightful. I guess history is a work in progress! I love your last comment about landscapes being sets of plays thanks for inspiring my day! ;-D


  3. You’re welcome and thanks to you for all this richness! Funny how that “play” metaphor just popped up while I was writing, and me remembering your theatre connection! I call is Spirit in action! Slowly getting the hang of this WP communing! Thanks for “connecting”!


  4. These are awesome photos. I really appreciate the time and effort it took you to take these. Nice job! And I loved also the virtual tour you gave with the history and geography. Again, nice job!


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