a new and unrivalled exhibition of citrus plants
Near the small town of Pescia in Italy's beautiful region of Tuscany, the Tintori family have recently opened Europe's first permanent exhibition dedicated solely to plants of the genus citrus. The artistically arranged display, situated within a new 2,000 square metre glasshouse, is thematically linked to the nearby village of Collodi, the literary home of Pinocchio.
Oscar Tintori's interest in citrus plants began when he purchased a house with several fruitful espaliered lemons growing on the walls. As you can see one tree still survives -- and the Tintori citrus collection, with many historic old European varieties, is now surely the best publically accessible collection anywhere.
My pictures were taken October 2004, when I was shown around the Hesperidarium during a fascinating, if exhausting, day-trip from London!
Pinocchio sits, with singed feet, overlooking the winding paths of the Hesperidarium. Plants are growing both in the ground and in traditional terracotta pots. With minimum winter temperatures usually around 5C to 8C, extra heating is rarely needed.
In addition to the Hesperidarium, the Tintori nursery has two other huge glasshouses with a vast selection of potted ornamental citrus plants for sale. Many are historic varieties not available from any other source.
page created 14 October 2004
For photos of individual plant specimens in the Hespidarium click these buttons
In the mythology of Ancient Greece, the Hesperides are Aegle, Arethusa, Erytheia and Hesperia. They are the nymphs who live in a beautiful garden, guarding the tree with the golden apples which were given to Hera on her wedding to Zeus.