Cactus Park on Ischia: A Piece of Arizona in Italy

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

You are an avid traveler. You can’t stay at home more than a month. Something very strong raises you from the easy chair and sends you to the next continent, country, city…. Traveling is your passion. But your other passion is gardening. You like to plant and to do your best to grow your wards to admire their flowers or fruits. How to connect these two passions? Is it possible at all? The answer is a cactus.

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Keukenhof: Legendary Garden of Tulip Country

Flower river. The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, Holland, the Netherlands.

Flower river. The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, Holland, the Netherlands.

If I ask you to name a country which you think is the motherland of tulips, most likely, you will say: the Netherlands. This European country has actively maintained this association for many hundreds of years already. However, the first tulips were bred not in the Netherlands, but in Central Asia (today, it is Turkey and neighboring countries). The first large consignment of tulips was delivered to Amsterdam, the capital of the Dutch Republic, in 1562, and this modest flowerÂ’s conquest of the world began.

At first, the price of tulip bulbs was so high that merchants weighed them on precise apothecary scales and sold them by the piece. Collectors were ready to pay a huge sum for rare sorts. It’s known that one gentleman gave 4,600 guilders and a carriage with two horses for one bulb of Semper Augustus. In those times, you could buy a house for such money. Thank God, today, we buy tulip bulbs for our country house’s garden much more cheaply, although the label on their pack still reads: Made in the Netherlands.

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