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Monday, January 10, 2011

Alto Adige Gardens

The much loved Farmer Garden in the Tyrol
"Vielgeliebter Bauerngarten"

No matter how small, a Bauerngarten always includes a few flowers.

Gardens of the South Tyrol,  Northern Italy,  are the pride and joy of the Farmer's wife

 There is a distinct division of labor, she is in charge of the "House, Garden,  Spinning and Feathered Animals".
He is in charge of "Field, Forest and Barnyard".

All Tyroler gardens have one thing in common; No matter how small or how large they are always surrounded by a fence, usually a picket fence.  Free ranging chickens, rabbits, goats  and deer make quick work out of a newly planted garden.

Gardens are not planted until the "Three Ice Kings" have come, usually around the middle of May.

Space is limited and so is the diversity of plants.  Seeds are saved from year to year.  One thing you won't find in a Farmers Garden are benches or unnecessary decorative objects.  You will, however, find a barrel or some other container to collect life-giving rain water.

 If the terrain allows, gardens are either square or rectangular in shape.  They are never attached to the house but are always nearby.

And sometimes gardens have to be cultivated where the terrain is difficult.

From the book by Brigitte Griessmair and Anneliese Kompatscher "Vielgeliebter Bauerngarten"

My vegetable garden is open to occasional marauders.  I'm thinking about enclosing it with a picket fence.

What do you think?



  1. The alto adige gardens look beautiful. I saw some incredible gardens in Swizerland once: dry weather, hot sun, but very short growing season, and yet the gardens were the most beautiful I've ever seen.
    A fenced garden looks aesthetically better, I think. But the functional and effective fences are usually very ugly.

  2. My Grandmother packed her Bavarian garden into her suitcase and immigrated to Northern California. It was everything you described... down to the picket fence, rainwater can and flowers. Last year... I visited the family village in Bavaria.. everything was so familiar...down to the picket fence. Thank you for a lovely post.

  3. Dear Francesca, The reason that I haven't added a fence is because it would make it harder to work the vegetable and flower beds in the Spring. It would keep my chickens, ducks, deer and even our dogs out.

  4. Dear Laurie, Welcome to my blog. I love your comment. "My Grandmother packed her Bavarian Garden". I still bring seeds home from our visits to Europe.

  5. I too think a picket fence is a good idea. The deer just ate my begonias and sweet potato vines. But that kind of fence nor hardly any other will keep the deer out. Then the problem of getting a wheelbarrow where I want it.

  6. Oh my, such beautiful pictures. Love all the landscapes and the colorful homes. Stunning. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  7. Hello, Gina
    The book you're featuring has some beautiful gardens. There is a loveliness in well-planted and tended gardens that exist for a utilitarian purpose. I think a little fence is worth your consideration!
    Thank you for joining "Sunlit Sunday" this week. I hope you enjoy the other posts that have been contributed.

  8. What lovely gardens and thank you for this post bringing them to my attention.

  9. Lovely little fenced in gardens it just shows you dont need a big garden to grow your own.

  10. That looks like a wonderful book, and it took me back to six years of living in the Schwarzwald, where gardens ran down hills and were terraced in places I'd never have imagined. Lovely, all.

  11. What a beautiful post.. hugs, Cherry