The 'Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto' is located on the western shore of the resplendent Lake Maggiore in Verbania - Pallanza, Italy. This fantastic experience was created, starting in 1931, when the Scottish Captain Neil McEacharn, who had a passion for botanics, bought the villa and neighboring properties from the Marquise Sant'Elia. After extensive reworking of the landscape, re-population with plants from all corners of the world, and the implementation of a complicated irrigation system, most of the work was completed 9 years later in 1940. Naming the property 'Villa Taranto' in memory of one of his ancestors, who was conferred the Dukedom of Taranto by Napoleon, he was delighted to have finally realized the garden of his dreams. However, unsure about its future, Captain McEacharn decided to offer it to the Italian State in order to ensure the continuation of his work. Run by a non-profit organization since Mc Eacharn's death in 1964, the 16 hectares garden, set among 7km of paths, houses 20,000 plant varieties and more than 80,000 blooming bulbous specimens, while over 15,000 border plants cover the numerous flowerbeds. In spring, summer and fall, the rich display of colors offered by the wide range of species make the garden Lake Maggiore's, and the region's, most famous floral attraction. Since 1952, the gardens have welcomed worldwide visitors from April to October. The villa is not opened to the public since it is used as the seat of the Prefecture of the Province. Nestled by the Piedmont hills, Verbania is a romantic summer resort on Lake Maggiore, where two 16th century churches, an 18th century Palazzo and obviously the famous Villa Taranto gardens can be visited. Access to the gardens can be by road or more delightfully by ferry ! Here is the entrance gate of the garden An adorable children's fountain, 'Fontana Dei Putti', nicely framed with the giant leaves of the Elephant Ears (Colocasia Antiquorum),
overlooking a formal display of summer colors highlighting the Italian Garden leading the way to the Dahlia Maze were 300 varieties of dahlias are blooming. So many beautiful fluffy heads All shapes, colors and dimensions for all tastes !
A beautiful view from the Mausoleum Chapel, 'Cappella Mausoleo', where Captain McEacharn lies in peace A welcoming set of raised beds where the orange lantanas are offering a nice contrast to the Lilyturf (Liriope Muscari variegated) Our steps lead us to an artificial valley, 'Valletta" created in 1935 elegantly crossed by a old arch stone bridge Enjoying the shade is a colorful family of coleus (Solenostemon). What a nice idea to introduce colors in shady areas !
A beautiful pergola that has become the Trumpet Vine (Campsis Radicans)'s kingdom. At its foot, a bed of Lilyturf (Liriope Muscari Variegated) Approaching the Terraced Gardens is a small pool, where nympheas are delicately floating Some creating interesting geometrical shapes A wonderful panoramic view of the Terraced Gardens, 'Giardini Terrazzati', the Normandy style villa and the snow capped Alps. What a display of colors ! Showing its back to the camera is the bronze statue 'Il Pescatore'. Another patch of colors along the path, mixing Floss Flower (Ageratum Houstonianum) and Celosia Plumosa From the Lotus Pond, 'Vasca Del Pior Di Loto', we can see blooming the Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera) The Winter Garden, 'Giardino d'Inverno' and its pool Along the path can be admired many varieties of trees: maple trees, crape myrtles, Japanese cherry trees, some extremely old and majestic like this one A nice loggia where we can hide from the sun and rest before our final descent towards the garden exit The turquoise waters of Lake Maggiore offering a nice contrast against the verdant vegetation The hydrangea section includes 23 varieties of hydrangea including hydrangea petiolaris and hydrangea quercifolia By the entrance of the garden is the herbarium of Captain Mc Eacharn, which includes 43 theca of flora of the regions of the United Kingdom. They date back to 1929 ! If you happen to be in the area between April and October, you should wander among the colorful beauties collected by Captain Mc Eacharn. As far as I am concerned, I will definitively go back in April to eyewitness the firework of colors offered by the 80,000 bulbs in flower ! If you want to know more about Villa Taranto : www.villataranto.it