EXCLUSIVE / INSIDE THE DUTCH GREENHOUSES WHERE PLANTS GROW UP WITH THE HELP FROM HUMANS AND TECHNOLOGY…

© Photos by ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

From roses to spathifillums, from fat plants to kalanchoes. A recent trip to Holland for a journalistic reportage about Dutch plants and flowers gave me the opportunity to meet and to know  some of the most innovative producers of the “green world”. In my tour, with the collaboration of Flower Council Holland, I met owners and founders of companies and internationally known brands such as Air so pure, Nolina, Amigo Plant and La mia Favorita. Despite the crisis, they were able to invest and innovate, specializing in the cultivation, environmental sustainability and marketing of indoor plants now known all over the world.

I visited their great and huge greenhouses, where plants grow up with the help from the humans and the technology… I took lot of photos about this incredible world which is a delight for the eyes. I’m glad to share these images coming from The Netherlands, where the passion for the green has produced a range of plants that help us to live better and to create an atmosphere of well-being in our environment, from homes to offices to communities. An activity that also has become a message from a beautiful Country where plants and flowers colors are a symbol of life.

INFOS AT:

http://www.bloemenbureauholland.nl/

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VILLA CARLOTTA, WHERE ART AND NATURE MASTERPIECES LIVE TOGETHER IN A PLACE OF RARE BEAUTY

© Photos by SR.M. LUISA ALBORGHETTI

Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo (Lake Como, Italy) is really a place of rare beauty, where masterpieces of nature and art live together in perfect harmony in over 70.000 square meters of gardens and museum.

The beautiful Villa was built at the end of 17th Century in a natural basin between lake and mountains, facing the dolomitic Grignas and the peninsula of Bellagio.

The architect created for the Clericis – a noble and powerful Milanese family – an important but sober building, with an Italian garden decorated with sculptures, stairs and fountains.

In 1801 Gian Battista Sommariva, famous politician, business man and patron of arts, bought the villa. Thanks to him, the villa attained the summit of its splendor and became one of the most important halting-place of the Grand Tour with its collections of art – as the masterpieces of Canova (Amore e Psiche), Thorvaldsen and Hayez – and its fascinating romantic garden.

In the Museum, at ground floor, we may visit the Marble Room, the Plasters Room, the Cameos Room, the Palamede Room, The Wicar Room, the Magdalene Room, the enchanting Eros and Psyche Room, the Romeo and Juliet Room, the Views Room, the Napoleonic Room. At the second floor, we admire the Gallery, Princess Carlotta bedroom, the Red Parlour, the Tapestry Room, the Empire Style Parlour, the Empire Style dining-room, Georg II Room and the bedroom.

In the second half of the Century Princess Marianne of Nassau bought the villa and gave it as a present to her daughter Carlotta in occasion of her wedding with Georg II of Saxe-Meningen. Georg was passionate about botany and made a lot of improvements and new additions to the park that became more and more famous for its botanical richness and the rhododendrons and azaleas spring flowering. They are more than 150 varieties giving an extraordinary flowering which is known all over the world.  In the park we may admire the beautiful Terrace and the Italian Gardens, The Camelias, the Theatre of Greenery, the Rock Garden, the Ferms Valley, the Azaleas, the Rhododendrons Wood, the Bamboos Garden, the Old Garden, the Museum of agricultural tools and a Tower (XIX Century). 

VILLA CARLOTTA FROM THE LAKE

SOS StopOilSpill / MY VIDEO AND ART PIECES SUPPORTING FUERTEVENTURA (CANARY ISLANDS) CAMPAIGN AGAINST OIL EXPLORATION IN THE SEA

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI LACER/ACTIONS ART – IMAGES OF TORN AND DECOMPOSED POSTERS – FROM “SOS StopOilSpill” VIDEOCLIP

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CLIP SOS StopOilSpill / ANIMOTO

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My “Lacer/Actions” images against oil spill disasters: “And the sea waters rose and screamed all their fury”. This clip was created with my art pieces  – realistic and not manipulated images of torn and decomposed posters – and it supports Fuerteventura campaign against the central government’s decision (Spain) to allow oil exploration in Canary Islands (Biosphere Reserve). 

I been in the beautiful and wild Fuerteventura last june. And I approached its problem. Local people and associations are raising protests. Greenpeace told that the planned oil spill – located in deep waters, at 3000 meters – would required 500 boats to act immediately in order to contain it. Fuerteventura doesn’t have the structure to be able to defend itself immediately against such a disaster…   

Natalia Evora, Environment and Trasports Councillor in Fuerteventura, said to “Fuerteventura Magazine Hoy” : “First of all we must remember that in 21st Century we must speak of energies that do not pollute and we therefore think oil has become an obsolete industry… We must take into account the great damage and risks that this would create in our marine element, for biodiversity and for tourism…The Islands that are Biosphere Reserves, such as Fuerteventura, are creating another energy model and not one that is already being eliminated in many countries because of the problems it has created… An oil spill would immediately close the desalination plants that provide the water we consume”.

THE LAND OF ALOE VERA PLANTS / MY DAYS IN FUERTEVENTURA # 6

© Photos by ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

 

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Aloe Vera plants ( Aloe Barbadensis Miller) have found in Fuerteventura the best climatic conditions of the world for their development. Conditions I’m enjoying during my stay in  Fuerteventura: clear sunlight, warm climate and scarce rain. You may see Aloe Vera along roads, in the gardens and in several plantations grewed up in the inner areas.

Aloe Vera is a plant from the family of the liliaceous like tha garlic or the onion. It is known since the ancient time for its medical effects. The pulp inside contains a great variety of active principals such as vitamins, minerals and aminoacids. The Aloe Vera is recommended for all type of affections of the skin. Due to its regenerative action, in record time it accelerates the recuperation of the skin and eases the pain.

FUERTEVENTURA, LAND OF ALOE VERA – PHOTOS BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

At the weekly “mercadillo” (market) in Morro Jable I bought “Aloe Vera Gel” from “Absolut Aloe”, one of the local producers (www.absolutaloe.com) . A bottle of 250 ml. contains the extract of about 625 gr.of fresh leaves. They cultivate aloe in an ecologic way and their plantations are controlled by the Regular Council for Ecologic Agriculture of the Canary Government. To ensure maximum quality they sell directly from the producer straight to the consumer. In Fuerteventura you find Aloe Vera products in every stores or shops. Before to buy them, check quality and origins.

About its effects I may say that my skin has received immediate relief after sunburn. And some friends of mine at last solved problems about sun allergies.             

LIVING ON A VOLCANIC LAND/ MY DAYS IN FUERTEVENTURA # 2

© Photos by ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

In Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) the Jandia peninsula was formed through one of three volcanic edifices that created the Island: the stratovolcano of Jandia.

MY DAYS IN FUERTEVENTURA – PHOTOS BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – 2012

Its emissions were very powerful and caused a widespread pilling up of lava flows that made up the most important terrains of the Island. The erosive agents are still re-modeling this terrain. The southern slope which starts at the Jandia mountain ridge is formed by a grouping of narrow, short and deep valleys that do not quite reach the sea.

MY DAYS IN FUERTEVENTURA – PHOTOS BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – 2012

In Fuerteventura, water makes and marks the different colours of landscapes. On an island where so rarely we have rains, water desalination plants ensure life, to inhabitants and to flora and vegetation. Other differences are made by the sea. Various local species are endemic to the Jandia peninsula meaning it is the region with most biodiversity in the entire island.

MY DAYS IN FUERTEVENTURA – PHOTOS BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – 2012

The area close to the lighthouse is inhabited by grouping of halophillic plants (extremophile organisms adapted to living in environments with high concentration of salt), such heath-leaved Sea-Heath and an antidiabetic medical plant (Plantigophyllum gaetulum) whose habitat is limited within the Canary Islands.

MY DAYS IN FUERTEVENTURA – PHOTOS BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – 2012

The Mosquito Valley has a good representation of other endemic species found only in the south of Fuerteventura and a plant symbol of the island, Jandia spurge (Euphorbia handiensis). A perennial shrub Launaea arborescens, Common Ice Plant, Canary Island tamarisks (Tamarix  canariensis), Poenix canariensis palm tree and the tree tobacco (also uncorrectly known as Mustard tree, Nicoriana glauca) all introduced to the island and can also be encountered along our routes.

MY DAYS IN FUERTEVENTURA – PHOTOS BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – 2012

THE COLORS OF MYSTERY: THE EXTRAORDINARY RUPNIK ‘S MOSAIC ON LAKE COMO (ITALY)

 Lenno (Lake Como, Italy): one of the masterpieces created by the great Slovenian artist

1st PART

 An extension of 50 square meters. Almost 20 thousand colored stones and glasses tiles. These numbers summarized an extraordinary artwork: the mosaic that Slovenian artist Marko Rupnik has created on the walls of the chapel of Suore Adoratrici at the Spirituality Center in Lenno ( Lake Como, Italy). Rupnik’s work – articulated in the scenes of the Nativity and Moses salvation – is a veritable feast of colors conceived, designed and made with meticulous care, great creativity and exceptional talent. Each little stone, every color and every hue are referring to spiritual, religious, cultural and social meanings.

They are mixed and fused in a fascinating tale that brings together two distinct stories – Moses saved from the waters and the Birth of Jesus – in an unique and impressive performance. Marko Rupnik mosaic is not only an incredible artwork, but also and above all an expression of the mystery, whose basic theological idea is this: as the matter changes if it is illuminated by natural light, so human heart may do wonders if it is opened to the Light.

The work was completed in five days during June 2007. Marko Rupnik lead a 11 persons team from different nationalities, formed and supported by competent people who deal with theological, symbolic, historical, iconographic and artistic point of view about the images to create. The harmony we admire in the mosaic is also the result of the fraternity that artists lived together, respecting single diversity and identity. While each artist composed his mosaic’s part, silence prevailed. Each artist has to dialogue with the stones. And the stones answer, obey and communicate with heart’s artist.

Roberto Alborghetti

(1 – To be continued)

 ABOUT MARKO RUPNIK

Marko Ivan Rupnik was born November 28, 1954 in Zadlog, Slovenia near Idrija. He is the fourth child, after three sisters. He studied philosophy in Ljubljana and then, in 1977, enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. Theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome followed. He was ordained a priest in 1985. In 1991 he earned a doctorate. Since September of 1991 he has lived and worked in Rome at the Centro Aletti, of which he is the director. He teaches at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the Pontifical Gregorian University, Saint Anselm Pontifical Liturgical Institute, and gives seminars and lectures at numerous other European academic institutions. In February 2000 he received the “France Preseren” Award, the Slovenian Republic’s highest recognition for contributions to the cultural patrimony. In 2002 he was decorated with the honor “Sign of honor of the freedom of the Slovenian Republic”, conferred on him by the president of the republic. In 2003 he received the international “Beato Angelico” prize for Europe. Besides many collective exhibits he has presented his works in personal exhibits among which those in Rome, Italy; Milan, Italy; Baltimore, Maryland USA; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Ljubljana, Slovenia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Czech Republic; Olomouc, Czech Republic; Cluj, Romania. He created lot of artworks in Italy, France, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Syria, USA, Spain.

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ITALIAN VERSION

I COLORI DEL MISTERO: LO STRAORDINARIO MOSAICO DI RUPNIK SUL LAGO DI COMO

PRIMA PARTE

 Cinquanta metri quadri di estensione. Quasi ventimila tessere colorate, in pietra ed in vetro. Dentro questi numeri è riassunta una straordinaria opera d’arte: il mosaico che l’artista Marko Rupnik ha creato sulle pareti della cappella del Centro di Spiritualità delle Suore Adoratrici in Lenno, Como. L’opera di Rupnik – articolata nelle scene della Natività e di Mosè salvato dalle acque – è una vera e propria festa di colori, che l’artista ha ideato, progettato e composto con cura meticolosa, creatività, eccezionale bravura.

Ogni pietra incastonata nel muro, ogni tinta ed ogni colore rimandano a precisi significati spirituali, religiosi, culturali e sociali che si fondono in un suggestivo racconto che riunisce le due distinte storie – Mosè e la Nascita di Gesù – in una unica e grandiosa rappresentazione. Il mosaico di Marko Rupnik non è solo opera d’arte, ma espressione del Mistero; la sua idea teologica di fondo è questa: come la materia creata se illuminata dalla luce naturale subisce cambiamenti, variazioni così a maggior ragione quando il cuore dell’uomo è toccato dalla Luce può operare meraviglie e trasformazioni!

L’opera è stata realizzata nel giugno 2007 e compiuta In cinque giorni. L’ equipe era formata da 11 persone di diverse nazionalità, guidata da Rupnik. Il gruppo è formato e supportato da persone competenti che affrontano dal punto di vista teologico,simbolico,storico, iconografico e artistico le immagini che poi dovranno realizzare nel cantiere.

L’armonia che cogliamo nel mosaico è anche frutto della fraternità che gli artisti vivono fra loro e dove la diversità diventa ricchezza. Mentre ciascun artista componeva la sua parte di mosaico, il silenzio dominava. Ogni artista deve instaurare un dialogo con la pietra, che “risponde”, obbedisce e viene ascoltata dal cuore umano.

(1 – Continua)

PLANTS HAVE EYES. THOSE OF CHILDREN (PART TWO)

 

 People asked me to show more beautiful drawings made by Italian students about plants world. I received the suggestion and here you may admire some other pictures… Really nice pics!

Flower Council Holland– through Okay!monthly magazine – had asked the Italian schoolsto draw “the plant that I like”, flower plantsand indoor plants. The outcome was better than expected. About 3.000 the drawings sent to promoters, confirming that the invitation launched by the Flower Council Holland has turned into an opportunity to look around, discover and learn about the wonderful world of plants that offer color, comfort, serenity and well-being, to people, to environment and to our homes. Last week, students participated to the awards ceremony, that taked place at “Le Due Torri”, a big shopping center in Stezzano-Bergamo, in Milan Area.

A mass of colored drawings tell us that plants talk and caress us with their discreet presence. And now, with these thousands of drawings, we may look at the plants through the eyes of children. And also plants have eyes. Those of children.

By the way, I created a videoclip. Here the YouTube link:

http://youtu.be/CRqyEyWkhfs