Due to the timely and expert help of our local nurseryman, Luca Perret, at Le Solite Piante Insolite, the infestation of Box Tree Moth is now under control, having taken up about a week of our time, picking through hedges for caterpillars and spraying with insecticides of increasing strength. Without Luca the garden might well have lost one of its ‘money shots’ by now.

I expect most people’s experience of garden centres and nurseries is a bizarrely dissonant one – what should be colourful, passion-fuelled, and professional businesses, mostly turn out to be confusing, grey and rather useless.

Thankfully, we now have Luca on hand to advise us as he does many of the historic gardens on Lake Maggiore from his bijou nursery on the shore road in Verbania. He is D.O.C. Piemontese, has a complete passion for the history of Lago Maggiore, and restoring the gardens here would be simply impossible without him!