This post is also available in: Italian

The Iris Garden, located in Florence, stands on the hill overlooking piazzale Michelangiolo and is open only in May. If you’re in Florence, you’ve got to visit it! It was built in 1954 inside an ancient olive grove, and it still hosts the “Florence Prize” annual contest for the best new varieties of Iris planted in the garden.

In what is actually a 5-acre park, visitors can enjoy thousands of bearded irises, edging and dwarf irises, as well as Siberian varieties (Iris sibirica, Iris spuria, Iris californica), water species (Iris louisiana, Iris pseudoacorus, Iris kaempferi), and the very bearded and non-bearded Iris typical of our regions: Iris pallida, Iris germanica, Iris florentina, Iris setosa, Iris unguicolaris, and Iris ochroleuca.

PLEASE NOTE: this garden will be open with free-access every day from April 25th to May 20th.

In the following months, it will be possible to visit it only with guided tours and by appointment.

While you are there, you should take a trip to the adjacent, small, but equally fascinating Rose Garden, designed at the end of the XIX century by the architect Giuseppe Poggi, on behalf of the Municipality of Florence, inspired by the following French style. Today, the garden arranged on terraced land features about 1000 varieties of roses. It’s also worth mentioning its elaborate irrigation system – originally built together with this green facility – with a special cistern placed high up in the woods, behind the loggia in Piazzale Michelangelo, and a pipeline that feeds several water intakes.

In 1998, a Japanese garden was also added, this time created by the architect Yasuo Kitayama. This new addition was actually donated by the city of Kyoto, twinned with Florence. Some sculptures by Jean-Michel Folon have also been recently inserted in the garden.

This post is also available in: Italian

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