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Comune di Ponzano Monferrato

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Comune di Ponzano Monferrato
Villa "Il Sagittario"

The widespread garden

To discover the historical and botanical gardens of Casale Monferrato

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“Al Sagittario” residence - Ponzano


The garden of the residence “Al Sagittario” (in English “At the Sagittarius”) is located on a rise supported by a high retaining wall. It overlooks the valley that separates the village of Ponzano from the Sacro Monte di Crea, characterized by an intimate isolation.
The important residence dates back to the XVIII century and in 1783 a little church, dedicated to St. Bernard, was built and annexed to the property. It was surrounded by a large garden but, unfortunately, nobody knows its original features. However the tree species that grow in the garden have been recently analyzed  and the result of the analysis shows that its current layout dates back to the second half of the XIX century, when the Allievi Family owned the property. In addition, in the late XIX century and in the early XX century, gardens were usually situated next to the houses. Their arrangement was formal, however, the “rigor” of their lines decreased  as the distance from the house increased.
The formal plant is built on a perspective axis that connects the area in front of the house to a shady resting place bordered by ancient yews situated in the most part of the garden.
A path made of clay crosses the garden and it is surrounded by some rectangular and cultivated areas bordered by boxwood hedges.
A wisteria and some roses climb a pergola which abuts against the retaining wall and creates a passage whereas some maples grow on the steep slope opposite the pergola. They are also the background of the underlying vineyard.
Furthermore, some ancient trees, such as a 300-year-old cedar of Lebanon, an olive tree and a majestic red beech, grow in the area in front of the residence.


Garden of the Sagittarius

The ancient residence overlooks a wide court.
The gravel, the fountain held by little angels called “putti”, the bushes and the evergreen and deciduous trees create a quaint atmosphere.
A magnolia and some olive and lime trees surround a majestic persimmon tree, while citrus trees, lined up along the façade, emphasize its elegance.
From the court we can reach the wonderful garden by descending a staircase which is adorned with flowers. The attention on the visitor is immediately attracted by a spectacular cedar of Lebanon and by a copper beech whose leaves are partly mixed with the leathery ones of the magnolia, creating a nice combination of patterns and shades.
A path crosses the garden and leads to a rondeau bordered by yews where everyone should stop to admire the beauty of the garden. Perhaps in the past there was also a bower.
On each side of the path there are boxwood hedges that divide the garden into rectangular spaces. In some of them holm oaks grow in the middle of the lawn while, in the others, the plants and flowers remind of amazing landscapes: the French lavender, which is characterized by an intense color, reminds of Provence.   
Furthermore colorful butterflies swirl around the shrubs and the flowers.
Even the slender cypress tree, which grows next to a little church made of stone, reminds of the beloved Tuscan landscape. The church is located on the other side of the building complex.
Finally, the garden is partially enclosed by a long pergola which is covered with wisteria and climbing roses. A white Lady Bank’s rose commemorates Ada Caire, a great lover of roses.
The fascinating garden of the Sagittarius looks like an historical garden because of its plant life and its elegant and linear layout.