Botanical restoration

The Garden is divided into four interlinked sections:

  • The Olive Courtyard between the cloisters welcomes visitors and initiates them into the spirit of the place.
  • The large Convent Garden with Vegetable Plot extends from the Convent buildings to the Old Workshops and the Meditation Chapels and contains flower varieties of symbolic significance, rows of tall trees, the vegetable plot, the orchard, a second olive grove and a “garden of simples” with medicinal herbs. Pejrone’s design reestablishes the prominent role of the pergola, a traditional feature of Venetian gardens and visible in the famous engravings by de’ Barbari and Merlo: the sweet chestnut pergola supports Vitis, Rosa, Wisteria and Bignonia. It offers over four hundred metres of sheltered pathway, shaded from the summer heat and in full sun during the colder months, where visitors may practice the noble arts of conversation and contemplation. A large central water tank, its shimmering reflections attracting birds, bees and insects, will be planted with water lilies (Nymphaea) in homage to Venice’s age-old fascination with the Orient. The areas containing vegetable beds, olives, cypresses, fruit trees and flowering plants will be demarcated by straight paths and, in addition to traditional Capuchin crops such as medicinal herbs, more unusual botanical specimens will be scattered throughout, their positions varying each year in accordance with the art of crop rotation.
  • The Gardens of the Lagoon are separated from each other by water and accessed by paths on either side of the magnificent boathouse. A perfect place to view the sunset, the secluded eastern Garden is shaded by a dense evergreen canopy of pittosporums, with large Rosa banksiae scrambling over the sun-drenched lagoon wall. The western Garden, with its olives, cypresses and pittosporums, is a place of prayer reserved for the Friars and for the Foundation’s beehives.