There are many illustrious gardens on the shores of Lakes Como and Maggiore in the mountainous far north of Italy. Included in this lecture are a 16th-century parterre and water staircase; a baroque garden in the middle of a lake; two gardens made by rival Napoleonic grandees; and a garden created by two Edwardian romantics as a theatre for sharing their love of art and nature – all set in a climate ideal for garden-making among some of the world’s noblest scenery.
Steven Desmond is an independent landscape consultant specialising since 1985 in historic gardens and architecture. He is a freelance lecturer, specialist tour leader, writer and broadcaster. His book Gardens of the Italian Lakes, with photography by Marianne Majerus, is published by Frances Lincoln.