This small floral jewel, situated in Castagnola on the shores of Lake Lugano, reserves many surprises with its rich Mediterranean vegetation.
This delightful park was designed in ‘Liberty’ style in 1931 and constructed at the same time as the villa, (a faithful copy of Petit Tiranon at Versailles).
The history of both villa and garden is closely connected with the figure of Hélène Biber, a modern ballet dancer from Paris who started a society ‘salon’ in her home in Lugano. She died in 1967 having lived life to the full, and the property passed into the hands of the Comune di Lugano who used it for various purposes during the following 20 years.
The generous garden surrounding the building is packed with an amazing variety of tropical and subtropical plants and flowers which survive the winter thanks to the favourable microclimate, unique to the area. There are lemon trees, orange trees, kumquats and grapefruit trees, date palms (Phoenix canariensis), Chile palms (Jubea chilensis) cycas revoluta from central America and Japanese palms (Trachycarpus fortunei), to mention just a few. There are also rare camellias, blue and white agapanthus, and yellow orange false-ginger plants with an incredible perfume, as well as wisteria and antique climbing roses. The garden is a delightful setting for a number of trees – cedars, green cypresses, Japanese Medlar trees and an imposing Eucalyptus from Australia. The original garden fittings from the ‘30s - steps, columns, the grotto in tufa-stone, the railings together with the combination of unusual plants and trees make this unique among Lugano’s parks.
- PARKS AND GARDENS Botanical gardens