A combination of drought-resistant flowers and plants arranged into a tenacious summer bouquet: Cristiano made this bouquet for us, using only the hardier plants on the estate, and inspired by the soft golden light of august afternoons.
The Achillea is a European herb of which there are many varieties. The most abundant variety we can find at Vignamaggio during this period is the yellow Achillea, also known as yellow yarrow. The name Achillea is derived directly from Achilles. It appears that Achilles knew the healing properties of this plant and used it to treat his wounds. The Achillea was used on battlefields to heal wounds and as a strong coagulant until 1700.
THE BUTTERFLY BUSH
The butterfly bush, or “Buddleia”, originated in China and only arrived in Europe at the end of the 1800’s. The Buddleia owes its name to the Swedish botanist Linneo (1707 -1778) who dedicated the plant to botanist Adam Buddle (1662-1715). The Buddleia is also known as the summer lilac due to its small tubular lilac, pink or violet flowers that emerge in fragrant little cone shaped clusters and that attract hundreds of butterflies with their perfume. In fact, throughout summer, the Buddleia becomes a splendid alcove for all kinds of butterflies in search of nectar. The Buddleia is actually considered an invasive pant: it spreads easily in the poorest, more calcareous soils. It needs no care and thrives alongside roads or abandoned paths.
Perovskia atriplicifolia is a perennial plant that is a little deceiving: in some ways it resembles some varieties of flowering sage, while from a distance it could be easily mistaken for lavender. In fact, it is often called Russian sage or Afghanistan lavender. It has its origins in the rocky areas of Asia: Afghanistan, Iran, China, Pakistan and the Himalayas. The name Perovskia comes from Vasily Alekseevich Perovski (1794-1857), an important Russian general who may have discovered it during his military campaigns. Like sage, the Perovskia is part of the mint family, the Lamiaceae. This explains the aromatic nature of its green-grey leaves and its fresh herbaceous fragrance.
ROSEMARY & VIBURNUM
To finish off our summer bouquet, we added a few aromatic branches of rosemary, a firm favourite in our arrangements, and a few viburnum leaves, a very hardy and heat resistant plant. We had already used the viburnum in our winter bouquet for San Valentino because it flowers in the winter.