“If you want to be better than us, dear friend, traveling!” – so told Goethe. To regenerate body and mind with a “green” break, there is no need to dream exotic and far away places. Also nearby you can make beautiful discoveries: for a deep relationship with nature, it’s just a walk through Palmariggi and Giuggianello, in Salento, in the Botanical Garden La Cutura, where the owner Salvatore Cezzi dedicated himself tenaciously to a passion: growing succulent plants, palm trees, subtropical and roses, many roses.
When Mr. Toto inherited from her grandmother, of Spanish origin, the estate starting to set the garden, he had an idea: to create a set dedicated to his collection of plants brought in Salento from his many travels around the world. So, at Cutura you follow a real path between gardens, each with its own name and its characteristics. And every corner of the garden is characterized by one or more details that accentuate the relaxing atmosphere, worthy of the Tropics. The tour begins from the Rock Garden, surrounded by ancient walls providing shelter to about 80 varieties of agave, 50 of opuntia and numerous types of cacti of all shapes and sizes, all from imposing presence.
From here you come to the heart of the garden, the monumental greenhouse of succulents, divided into three main areas: the central is dedicated to cacti originating in Mexico, the right area to tropical plants from Africa and the left side in the South American cactus. All of them capture your attention, for some forms, for other clumps that look like hair, others to the size as the enormous cushions Echinocactus grusonii and branches of tall Ferocactus and mammilarie of up to sixteen meters of glass roof of the greenhouse. The third garden is a tribute to the Mediterranean plants with a large flower bed bordered by fragrant white carnations hosting conifers, broom, juniper, olive trees, strawberry trees, myrtle, thyme and citrus. From here you come to the pond that collects rainwater and gives home to water lilies, papyrus, bamboo, hyacinths and irises. To admire the spectacular rose garden, made up of more than 100 varieties of roses, the advice is to visit the garden in May to be enraptured by the colors and scents of these wonderful flowers.
From the rose garden you pass the shade and cool, guaranteed even in summer, to the forest of oak trees where you can try the strong emotion to embrace one of these giants of nature. From the apparent disorder of the forest you come, with a short walk, to the labyrinth formed by beds of geometrically pruned of the Italian Garden, where to get lost among iridescent and changeable green according to the sunlight. The route guides to the Garden of simple when, in a space where cattle and horses were hospitalized, are now cultivated aromatic and medicinal plants. The intense scent of the Parma violets heralds the Garden of perfumes, where you can admire, in season, the magnificent blooms of peonies and Japanese cherry trees. At the center of La Cutura is the Ancient Town, distinctly Spanish-influenced, showing the origins of the family of Mr. Toto and that, between narrow alleys and walls covered with vines and bougainvilleas, looks a lot like a small Andalusian village. In the Secret garden there are rarer plants: ferns, orchids, palms, tropical fruit, citrus, dwarf conifers and many unusual plants that grow very well between the rock excavated from an old quarry tuff. Following a short climb, you reach the highest part of the garden where “live” geese, pigeons, ducks, swans, including the rare black, fowls from colorful plumage, peacocks, pheasants and even goats, deer, a pony, a small horse race Falabella and a donkey. Before going away, it’s worth taking a peek at the terrariums that welcome large reptiles but harmless. It’s time to say goodbye to Mr. Cezzi and its garden of wonders in which we hope to return soon, to be us like children again and to feel the joy of moving us even before the beautiful gifts of nature.
Giardino Botanico La Cutura
Contrada Cutura, Giuggianello (Le), tel. +39 0836 354164 – +39 335 8262477 – firstname.lastname@example.org