In the scenery of the enchanted forest, where numerous fairy tales begin, we find a hostile nature towards the wicked ones but generous with teachings and offering protection to pure souls, like those of children. It is the place where you get lost even if inside, thanks to the wise trees, you will always find the courage to go forward in the story.
What is the last book you read? And what will be the next one?
Rosi: “Flower Hunters” by Mary and John Gribbin.
Giovanni: “L’invenzione della Terra” (The invention of the Earth) by Franco Farinelli
Your next trip?
Rosi : Japan.
Giovanni: I would like to visit Ireland.
Rosi: Green and light blue.
Giovanni: Green without a doubt.
What is the plant that matters most to you?
Rosi: Mastic e Hibiscus.
Giovanni: Downy oak and helichrysum, they remind me of my childhood.
Where would you live?
Rosi: In Sardinia
Giovanni: Sardinia is fine.
What is your favourite historical era?
Rosi: the future.
Giovanni: I agree on the future, because as an old professor of mine always said “the golden age is always ahead”.
Can you describe in short a scene that represents “beauty and elegance” for you?
Rosi: Beauty is not a subjective fact, because otherwise subjective and non-absolute beauties would exist. The idea of beauty is an idea in itself which, as Aristotle says in his aesthetics, is based on three principles: harmony, proportion and convenient size. The Aristotelian analysis, destined to never pass away, derives from the study of the Greek ideal of beauty, expressed in the works of Fidia, Milone, Praxiteles. All of them created their works using a sacred number that Piero della Francesca called the Golden ratio or even Divine proportion and which is based on what is beautiful in nature: the spiral of the shell, the relationship between leaf and petiole, the harmony of the limbs of the human being. Nature has a code to describe what is beautiful: Pythagoras found it, Aristotle theorized it, Piero della Francesca explained it. Artists of all times put it into practice, from Phidias to Michelangelo, from Apelles to Leonardo. Wraith designed and built the Guggenheim Museum in New York following the spiral of the shell. The natural landscape is harmony, proportion, convenient size and in a garden we must reconstruct the same divine proportion.
Giovanni: I cannot think of a particular scene, although among the cinematographic references there is certainly the scene in which Anita Ekberg throws herself into the Trevi fountain in the film “La Dolce Vita”; but if I were to think of beauty and elegance in a garden, it would surely be that of Villa Durazzo Pallavicini in Pegli, a masterpiece created and designed by Michele Canzio. In this case, the concepts of elegance and beauty are not ends in themselves, but become a means of introducing the visitor to a theatrical scenographic journey that becomes a spiritual experience in nature.
What is a garden for you?
What is a garden for you?
Rosi: The garden is said to come from the soul. It evokes the earth with the senses, the water with the imagination and the sky with intelligence. For the Japanese, it is the place where man meets the divine. Not a garden to amaze or to demonstrate man’s ability to bend nature, but an initiatory journey into beauty to cure the illness within our psyche. A return to man’s primordial relationship with nature, to the respect for mother earth and the search for our deepest spirituality. In the depths of our unconscious to which we all draw, depending on the situation, feelings, dreams, visions, incomprehensible nostalgia emerge, anxieties that a garden will be able to fill and calm by using symbols that veil and reveal. Each one of us is unique, as unique will be their garden. Building a garden and exposing the soul to create the place where it will find fulfilment, peace and beauty. To do all this, many ingredients are needed: knowledge of botany and of the life cycle of plants, competency about which plants coexist best together and which are the colours that have an effect and bring benefits to our psyche by being helped also by technology. Not a garden for the landscape architect, but a one for those who enjoy it, who are able to create a space that makes them feel part of creation and in harmony with it.
Giovanni: The garden is the connection between the psychic structure of the human being and the natural world, the place where nature is shaped for man, not for survival, as happens in agriculture, but to seek inner well-being. For this reason, the garden is never an end in itself, but always has a meaning and, in addition to a high aesthetic value, artistic and cultural references that make it more than a mass of plants placed in a workmanlike manner.
What is the fairy tale for you?
Rosi: Princes, witches, wizards, fairies, ogres populated the fairy tales, but the stories were not scary, they were filled with poetry and they prepared for life. In the world of fairy tales, everything becomes possible; we are not surprised by the animals or the plants that talk and walk or by the fairies that perform wonders. But the real magic was in the voice of the one who told the story and there was always a grandmother who would lend herself; in the place where the story was told, near a fireplace or in the children’s bedroom. And as children we listened enraptured transforming ourselves into fairies, princes or warriors. A childhood without fairy tales is a sad childhood.
Giovanni: In the fairy tale, natural elements are often given voice and this fact allows nature to talk with man in a clear way, with his same words. This is why the fairy tale is a warning to human beings, warning them about the consequences of their actions, making them understand that the world they live in is not exclusively their property.