A philosophical relationship
Paolo Basetti, curator of the ‘Giardino delle Ananasse’ at the Boboli Gardens
When did you come here for the first time?
When I was 19. I’d taken part in one of those orientation courses you do when you’re young to decide on your future career. But I never ever thought of doing this job.
We walked a long way before reaching the Upper Botanical Garden, or what was left of it – it was in a hopeless state. I wanted to start cutting the grass, taking away the dead branches – an inexplicable urge, the start of a love affair…
How did you manage to restore the garden to its former glory?
I looked up the documents of the period, searched out the plants one by one. This garden, all gardens, are a wonderful time machine where you can read history, stratifications, customs.
Your bond with the Giardino degli Ananassi (its 19th century name, Ed.) goes well beyond your job, am I right?
Every garden takes care of those who care for it: it’s a philosophical relationship. That is why, when we enter a green space, whether it’s big or small, we are pervaded by a sense of peace and quiet.
What’s the best time to visit it?
During the peony blooming season at the of April, it only lasts a few days but it’s a unique spectacle.
That of the English roses – it’s the garden’s latest chapter.