Peony bouquets and flowers at Giardini Visconte

This post is also available in: Italian

I’ve just received a wonderful gift: a large bouquet of pink shaded peonies, partially made of buds or early blooms, the latter already disclosing the silky and fragrant petals. The bouquet is a gift from Alberto Camussone, a nurseryman and a farmer who’s in love with nature and the countryside, as well as being a dedicated guardian of their biodiversity.

His company, Giardini Visconte, is in Gudo Visconte, a 30-minute drive from Milan. On 8 May it’s reopening to the public and it is really worth a visit, even more so in that period. It is, in fact, a very special nursery which includes a large forest of native plants, a lake rich in biodiversity, some paddy fields, a vegetable garden, a remarkable facility dedicated to the cultivation of trees, forest and ornamental shrubs (for a total of 152 species), a rose garden with 45 different varieties, some other 85 species (1,200 plants in total, all over the different sections of the nursery), an ornamental garden (Il Giardino di Vittoria), and, above all, large cultivations of dog ​​roses and cut peonies.

Peonies, in particular, cover about 7.5 acres, with 55.000 plants grown in 11 varieties: Paeonia ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, ‘Duchesse de Nemours’, ‘Red Charm’, ‘Coral Sunset’ and ‘Coral Charm’, ‘Bowl of Cream’, ‘Flame’, ‘Shirley Temple’, ‘Jolie’, ‘Mother’s Choice’, and ‘Bowl of Beauty’, whose flowers are picked and sold on international flower markets, while the bare roots are marketed to enthusiasts in the fall. A part of the cultivation (almost 2 acres) has been set up as an exhibition area, where visitors can enjoy a sea of ​​fragrant corollas.

Alberto Camussone has, in fact, decided to open its nursery to the public during the weekends, together with the rest of his property; visits must be booked in advance on the company’s website. Bear in mind that visits to the forest and the lake are allowed only to schools of Photography, groups of nature photographers, amateur and professional bird watchers, and school children more than 10 years old – such strict rules guarantee minimum disturbance to the precious wildlife.

On the other hand, the rose garden, the ornamental garden, the section cultivated with roses and peonies, as well as the related exhibition area are open to all visitors; May is the perfect month for admiring those wondrous flowers, witnessing their harvest and attending free workshops (booking required) to learn about cutting, choosing and preparing the buds.

The admission fee (10 Euros for adults, 5 Euros for children – tickets are available online) includes three freshly-cut complimentary peony flowers (two for the children); visitors can also get a freshly-made beautiful bouquet for just 2 Euros. But there’s more: only during these hard times of pandemic, you can order online a bunch of locally grown peonies, which will be delivered to any address in the municipalities listed on the company’s website.

I will definitely go there, as soon as I can, to enjoy the eye-catching blooming period which lasts about one month. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy that beautiful complimentary bouquet.

Follow @giardini_visconte on Instagram for updates, events and more information.

This post is also available in: Italian

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