Monday, May 31, 2010

Residenza Papale di Castel Gandolfo

This is a nice little video by Petar, showing the gardens of Castel Gandolfo, it ends a bit abruptly.
There are lots of topiary and pretty knot gardens, all set in in neatly mown grass. I have always wondered, were there lawns before lawnmowers?

10 comments:

Laurence England said...

Should I flyer the Holy Father? I think the current gardener might have missed a bit...

B flat said...

Dear Father,
Before mechanical mowers (even the ones drawn by horses wearing special boots to protect the turf from damage by their hooves) there were sheep, which still crop park and other grassland very efficiently.

However, how do you suppose the keepers of bowling greens and golf course greens managed? Men used scythes to mow that grass as efficiently as barbers shaved with cut-throat razors. It was a dying art in your childhood, and I wonder if anyone alive in Britain could still do it, unless it be a recent immigrant from Eastern Europe, where many country folk still use a scythe.

zadra.dario said...

I live in a little Alpine village. We are getting ready for our Corpus Domini Mass and procession. There is an old white horse and several sheep cropping the grass in the large field around the church at this moment. They leave margaritas and buttercups in little clumps (not good to eat) so the effect is very pleasing.

Physiocrat said...

There are many other plants besides grass, suitable as low ground cover eg chamomile, sedum.

Greg said...

I remember my great grandad had and used a scythe. He died in 1989. I doubt you could even buy one now.

Laurence England said...

Also, remember Father, that before lawnmovers there were animals who ate the grass and kept it short.

GOR said...

Yes, memories of Castelgandolfo! My one and only visit there was in 1967 to walk the 5 or so miles there from our college in the Castelli Romani, lugging a bulging briefcase replete with rosaries, medals, statues, holy pictures, etc. to be blessed by Pope Paul VI at the Sunday Angelus.

Being the youngest in the group at the time, it fell to me to bring all of the Roman mementos the other students had accumulated prior to our return home for the summer vacation - so we could proudly tell the recipients that they were ”blessed by the Holy Father”.

Walking uphill (it was all uphill from our college to Castelgandolfo…) in a heavy Irish serge cassock in the Roman summer sun was a penance in itself – but gladly undertaken. Sadly, I have not been back there since.

pelerin said...

Damian Thompson's latest post is on what he describes as the 'chaos behind the scenes' for the preparation for the Papal Visit. Apparently the Hyde Park venue has not even been booked yet and yet it has already been mentioned as the setting for Vespers on the Saturday evening.

Michael said...

Dear Father, I thought of you today, while sheltering from the rain showers in the Museum in the Park at Stroud, Gloucestershire. I live 3 miles away but had never been before! Apparently the lawnmower was invented in Stroud in 1830. There were various early models on display but the design was essentially the same as the typical push mower were all knew before petrol or electric models. It was claimed that the new invention could do the same job as 10 labourers with scythes.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Were there lawns before lawn mowers?

Yes, they were called "servants".