‘Pepa’s Story’, vineyards and botanics… Slovenia part 2

Vineyards: Slovenia May 2014

Vineyards: Slovenia May 2014

Vineyards of all shapes, sizes and grape-rearing practices are scattered everywhere throughout the slopes down to the sea at Trieste. I became fascinated by them, the darkness of the wood props contrasted with the green of the growing vine.

On our way walking down towards Trieste, we stayed one night at a superb and friendly tourist farm belonging to the Skerlj family.  It is a lovely place, check the link for more information. When we arrived, it was a beautiful day, and I asked the owner if she could recommend any gardens that we could walk to. She picked up the phone and arranged a special viewing for us with the caretaker of a garden that, curiously, I had seen at Chelsea in 2012. And so we re-met ‘Pepa’s Story’, a garden of the Karst that we now understood having walked through the Karst for 5 days.  It is a touching evocation of village past. The shepherd’s house which Pepa lives in, her stone bench and oven, and the planting she has created is beautifully and simply evoked. The designer, Borut Benedejcic, won Best Small Garden at Hampton Court in 2009 and returned to Chelsea in 2012, winning a Silver Gilt for Pepa’s Story.

Shepherd's house and karst planting: 'Pepa's Story', Dutovlje, Slovenia May 2014

Shepherd’s house and karst planting: ‘Pepa’s Story’, Dutovlje, Slovenia May 2014

Stone bench: Pepa's Story, Dutovlje, Slovenia May 2014

Stone bench: Pepa’s Story, Dutovlje, Slovenia May 2014

The shepherd's sign and planting: 'Pepa's Story', Dutovlje, Slovenia May 2014

The shepherd’s sign and planting: ‘Pepa’s Story’, Dutovlje, Slovenia May 2014

Leaving the Skerjl family farm, we visited the Botanical Garden at Sezana on our way back to Trieste.  A little sad, obviously not much public interest and a garden that was losing its way.  Some oddly romantic moments all the same,

A one-armed statue with an Art Deco air: Botanical Garden, Sezana, Slovenia May 2014

A one-armed statue with an Art Deco air: Botanical Garden, Sezana, Slovenia May 2014

props

A cracked pot creating its own microclimate: Sezana Botanical Garden, Slovenia, May 2014

A cracked pot creating its own microclimate: Sezana Botanical Garden, Slovenia, May 2014

And behind the greenhouses in a nursery bed, a riot of irises doing their thing: Sezana Botanical Garden, Slovenia May 2014

And behind the greenhouses in a nursery bed, a riot of irises doing their thing: Sezana Botanical Garden, Slovenia May 2014

And always the vineyards to be seen, with rich dark soil, strong wood supports and burgeoning vines in the sunshine. It seemed as if the earth was truly fruitful in Slovenia.  Go, it is a true natural delight.

Rich soil: Slovenia, May 2014

Rich soil: Slovenia, May 2014

Vineyards in the Vipava valley, Slovenia, May 2014

Vineyards in the Vipava valley, Slovenia, May 2014

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