The Gardens of Ninfa – I’ve Died and Gone to Heaven

August 16, 2012

That’s it. I’m officially an old person. Last night I had dinner in front of the TV, near the heater, wearing woolly slippers, watching a GARDENING PROGRAM.

I’d managed to all but miss the four-part BBC series Monty Don’s Italian Gardens. But this episode promised a sense of ruin and loss on a Thursday night – as well as calla lilies and clivias.

Monty was travelling north from Naples to Sermoneta, 40 kms south of Rome, to wander the Gardens of Ninfa. Breathtakingly beautiful, Ninfa is a ruined medieval town rescued by two dedicated gardeners in 1905 and captures the liberated, looser spirit of southern Italian gardens.

Gardens of Ninfa near Rome

I did some googling and one blogger couldn’t understand Monty calling Ninfa “the most beautiful garden in the world” for all sorts of reasons, but apparently he’d misunderstood: Monty had called it “the most ROMANTIC garden in the world”. Sssshhh. Let’s keep our voices down and not upset the flowers.

Another blogger at Library of Design posted straight after watching the show and also has a crush on Monty. How could you not, when at one point he has to catch his breath when he spots a beautiful rose growing high in an oak tree. “Aaah, that’s just lovely” he says in a voice that’s pure honey.

Monty Don at Ninfa Gardens

Having declared myself an old person doesn’t mean I don’t have needs. And I need to buy this series NOW.

Here’s a seven minute teaser.

Gardens of Ninfa image: Daniele Muscetta



  1. If you Google ‘Gardens of Ninfa – Heaven’, your Blog comes up as the 5th on the list! Congratulations.

    • Thanks for being my media monitor. xx

  2. Nah, this isn’t a gardening program. It’s a program about gardens. You can love the latter and hate the former. Heaps of people do (which is why I can’t stand that the Australian media insists on all it’s garden content being so overtly practical – so annoyingly (and, I think, counterproductively) ‘how to’).
    It’s so worth buying this series on DVD. The entire thing sparkles like a Roman fountain in May.

    • Yes, why can’t we have an Australian-produced program that takes in garden design/history too – not just aphid eradication? My first purchase this weekend will be Monty Don’s Italian Gardens DVD. I’ll get a preview tonight however as the final ep is set in the Veneto. I’ve seen a few gardens in this region (I was born closeby in Trieste, near Venice) but as I have a huge crush on Monty, I’m gonna be greedy and watch him tonight too.

  3. I LOVE Monty Don, seriously he is my hero. I love the gardens he takes us around, especially the Italian ones. After watching the whole series (I think on iview), I wrote down a list of gardens I will go to on my next trip to Italy.

  4. Get in the Monty Don queue Paola. Isn’t he great? I’ve just bought the Italian Gardens DVD (missed the first ep on TV) and look forward to watching it. My next trip to Italy will definitely include some of the gardens he visits, including Ninfa.

  5. Seria possivel,em Italiano,o portugues,o Espanhol,muito obrigado por tudo

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