German poet Friedrich Hölderlin was certain that “those who only perceive the perfume of a flower do not know it; but neither do those who pick it merely in order to subject it to scientific research”. Saint Augustine, instead, said, “You can know only what you love”.
Scottish captain Neil McEacharn, the mind behind Villa Taranto’s botanical gardens in Verbania, loved flowers – and knew them well – and adored Italy. His dream was to create a wonderful botanical garden in this country.
He was able to make his dream came true over the decade from 1931 to 1940, after he bought a large plot of land in Pallanza, known as the “La Crocetta”. The estate was thriving only with bamboo, black locust, and chestnut trees: McEacharn transformed it into what it is today – one of the most important botanical gardens in the world, home to approximately 20,000 different plant and flower species and types.
The garden, in all of its variety, is the perfect place to fall in love with nature and get to know it better.