|Looking down in to the Kolymbetra Garden
|The ruins of the Dioscuri Temple (Temple of Castor and Pollux) above the Kolymbetra Garden
|An illustration of what the ancient Greek city of Akragas looked like
|The Temple of Concordia is the best preserved of Agrigento's Greek Temples
|A restored tunnel aqueduct, a hypogeum, excavated by Carthaginian slaves still provides water for the gardens today
|An almond tree reflects in a small tank holding water that can be diverted to garden terraces.
|Clay tiled channels distribute water by gravity flow throughout the garden
|An olive tree estimated to be over 800 years old
|The knarled trunk of this ancient olive tree
|Antonietta at the entry kiosk
The gardens have been beautifully and sensitively restored retaining the rustic character of the place. The signage is excellent, in Italian and English, eloquently explaining the history and significance of the garden and the plants.
|A detailed plan of the garden
|An Almond tree blooming by the Temple of Vulcan
|Numerous varieties of oranges are laden with fruit in winter
|A slender variety of Lemon
|A old photo of a girl and donkey in the garden
The Nopale of Mexico, or Prickly pear, Opuntia ficus indica, is a Mesoamerican plant that grows to great size on unirrigated slopes. The fruit is fleshy and sweet and is eaten fresh or used to make sweets. The paddles shaped leaves were used to make plates and bowls for serving food in Sicily. They thrive in this climate, growing to form huge clumps wherever they take hold.
|Prickly Pear and a carpet of mustard surround an abandoned house by the Temple of Vulcan
|A crop of Fava Beans improves the soil with nitrogen fixing nodules that form on the roots of the plants
|Artichokes line the top of a rustic stone wall
|Rosemary in full bloom hedging a path
|Euphorbia is another native plant that was in full bloom on the edges of the wild parts of the garden.
|Wild Euphorbia in bloom
|Simple paths and steps lead invite the curious to explore what lies around the bend
|An old stone bridge
|The native and naturalized plants of the Mediterranean Maquis cover the slopes too steep for cultivation
|A 400 year old Carob Tree, Ceratonia siliqua growing amongst the ruins of the Temple of Zeus
White Poplar, Populus alba is a common tree throughout much of Europe. It grows along the watercourse that runs through the bottom of the ravine and was used as to make veneers and as a building material. The white trunks in winter contrast nicely with the red walls of the cliffs. There are many corners to explore and simple wood benches were added to provide places to sit and savor the peace and beauty of the garden. I was impressed by the modest way in which the garden was restored to reveal what I imagine was the true ambience of the original garden. I felt as if I had spent a few hours in the Garden of Eden, feasting on its fruits and aromas. The garden is filled with doves, a symbol of peace on Earth. Their cooing added an element of bliss that left me feeling fulfilled in a way that I experience in my own beautiful garden at home. What a beautiful place.
|White Poplar Trees growing along the stream banks
|A rustic trellis along a path
|Myrtles growing amongst the ancient ruins
An afternoon in paradise... I would like to thank Alessandro Tombelli of Firenze for recommending that I visit the Kolymbetra Garden. It was divine!
Thanks for reading as always, Jeffrey