Orticola Flower Show English

Orticola Flower Show

The Orticola Flower Show was created for Milan in 1996 and its proceeds go towards green projects in the city. In this light Orticola will be involved in the improvement and maintenance of the Perego Garden, the Royal Palace Garden, the Palazzo della Triennale Garden and the extension of Flowering Allotments at Citylife as well as initiating a new four-year cycle of “Study Days” started in 2017

2018 | XXIIIrd Orticola Show

The Lombard Horticultural Society is delighted to preannounce the XXIIIrd Orticola Flower Show

from Friday 11th to Sunday 13rd May 2018 at the Indro Montanelli’s Garden, in Milano.

INFO PRESS www.orticola.org/press

2017 | XXIInd Orticola Show

Show of unusual, rare and ancient flowers, plants and fruits

The Lombard Horticultural Society presented the XXIInd Edition of the Orticola Show which have been held from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th May 2017 from 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM in the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens, in Milan.

Italian plants for Italian gardens

The Lombard Horticultural Society has been promoting Italian garden culture since 1996, and presents the XXIInd edition in 2017 with the theme Italian plants for Italian gardens.

The Orticola Show hosts the most important showcase for Italian research nurseries, it proposes a green itinerary to discover young talents and unusual, rare plants with multiple characteristics, it gathers associations of botanists but also fervent collectors, it sets up “green entrances” and decorates the fountain, invites juries, organises convivial moments and services for visitors and is confirmed as the national appointment to discover the best in horticultural research.

Orticola 2017

The theme for the XXIInd Horticultural Show

Italian plants for Italian gardens is the proposed theme for Orticola 2017.
— Italian flora is composed of many genera and species of plant present in great numbers and varieties in all the national environments, from mountain altitudes down to sea level.

Considering precisely this diversity, both in environments and plant varieties, it is possible to find and identify which plants can adapt best to a particular garden. Thus we learn to consider our open spaces as an integral part of nature surrounding us, to follow trends and evolution according to the mutation of seasons in the different Italian climates and environments.

Orticola has invited nurserymen to present indigenous species or those naturalised in the various areas of our country since these adapt better, require less frequent maintenance and irrigation, and grow and flower more easily.

Thus the choice of Italian indigenous or naturalised plants safeguards and stimulates not only our own plant diversity but also that of animals: united to the former by a subtle, yet very strong thread.

XXII Orticola Flower Show – Catalogue 2017

The catalogue 2017 is available for free.
Catalogue XXIInd Orticola Flower Show

The “Protagonists” of the show: nurserymen and plants


Paeonia mascula subsp. russoi.
Recovered and cultivated by G&G Buffa

The nurserymen: new and young; the plants: unusual and with multiple characteristics; the associations: committed and interesting; convivial moments: the “extra” of the show.

Over the years Orticola has demonstrated that it is the most important showcase for Italian research nurseries, becoming the springboard for young talents and the place to discover particularly unusual plants, sometimes almost impossible to find, both for enthusiasts and for those just approaching the world of plants.

The show, which will host 160 exhibitors this year, boasts the greatest number of young nurserymen.

The youngest, participating for the first time

Andrea Bassino, presenting flowering herbaceous plants from our meadows, all obtained from seed, selected from prevalently indigenous Italian flora which can adapt to our gardens; Guido Agnelli, with a collection of tropical fruiting plants particularly scarce in Europe such as Theobroma cacao (cocoa) and Inga edulis (guava), the fruit of the latter is especially effective in the cure of arthritis and rheumatism; Eugenia Natalino from the Salto del Prete nursery, showing plants from the Mediterranean maquis, hillsides and plains; Daniele Righetti with a collection of carnivorous plants; Marco Greggi from Centroflora, with plants known to prosper in our climate; Dennis Barroero from Dennis Botanic Collection with an infinite quantity of rare and unusual fruiting plants from all over the world, such as Chinese mulberry, babaco and pitanga.

giaggiolo tirrenico

Tyrrhenian Iris, Iris lutescens.
Photo Actaplantarum

Amongst the young who have already participated in the show, apart from Davide Dalla Libera from the Novaspina nursery, the youngest and highly awarded Italian rose hybridizer, returning for the third consecutive year, the very young sons of the founder of Vivai del Valentino are coming back with their cactaceae, the young from Res Naturae with their rhubarb collection, Ladre di Piante (Plant Thieves) with an important collection of hydrangeas, Arborea Farm with Italian aquatic plants for phytopurification, Piante Innovative with extremely strange plants with multiple characteristics such as the parrot plant, so called since its fruits resemble little parrots and the very ripe ones are used in life-jackets and to absorb sea oil, as well as other bizarre plants like the ‘sticking plaster plant’, an edible Kalanchoe used in Latin America, Asia and Africa to heal many ailments or the Monarda didyma commonly called Oswego tea or bergamot, a sacred plant to American Indians and used by the Oswego tribe to prepare tea, and lastly Giardino della Moscatella with plants typical of the Puglia countryside, therefore suitable for dry climates.

Other innovations

Present this year: Botanika, with a selection of wild flowers from our fields and woods, therefore suitable for all climates and situations, and Laura Buonadonna’s collection of historic, rare bearded irises from “L’insolito giardino” and Giulio Celandroni’s tropical orchids.


Ebenus creticus. Photo Gérard Weiner

Gérard Weiner (Pépinière Botanique de Vaugines) a French nurseryman from the Luberon, a true plant hunter throughout the Mediterranean, is coming back, winner of the 2016 Orticola prize in recognition of his widespread, obstinate reserch into the area. This year he will bring an exceptional collection of plants found in Italy, Spain, France, Morocco and Turkey as well as other zones classified as Mediterranean such as California and Arizona. Mauro Zanelli is also returning, the first prize winner of the Style Jury, created in 2016, for the best display, arrangement and attention to detail, presenting species of Cypripedium, Epipactis and Dactylorhiza, wild Italian orchids not to be found elsewhere.

Amongst the wild plants it is vital to mention the Paeonia mascula ssp. russoi, which the nursery G&G Buffa has saved and cultivated from seed gathered around Fonni, near Gennargentu, in the Nuoro province in Sardinia. Since they are a protected species it was reproduced from seed and is in the process of being propagated so very few specimens are currently available!


The associations involved in research and providing information who have been faithful participants for several years, have organised floral demonstrations and guided tours in theme this year too, such as “Mediterranean plants” or “Useful plants”, to introduce visitors to whatever interests them without losing their way in the embarassment of choice.
Apart from A.Di.P.A. (Amateur Association for Plant Distribution), ABA (Amateur Botanical Association), Garden Club Milano, SOI (Italian Horticultural Society), all present at Orticola for the second time, the association Filiderba will be present for the first time with the Hortives project, an extremely interesting, ambitious initiative: the collection and registration of traditional vegetable seeds from every Italian region, who will demonstrate the location of typical Italian vegetables region by region during the show, including Mantuan white peppers, garlic from Resia, lentils from Norcia and the Torzelle cabbage, the oldest in the Mediterranean.

The entrances and fountain

The Lombard Horticultural Society, together with Vivai Nespoli will decorate the historic lobby of Palazzo Dugnani, the entrance to the show from via Manin facing onto the fountain embellished by the famous antiquarian Alessandro Stefanini in collaboration with Monica Lupi, an eclectic antique dealer and interior designer; the spectacle created by the landscape architect Massimo Semola in collaboration with Il Giardino, Massimo Perazzi’s nursery already present in the show for several years, can be admired on entering from piazza Cavour and, following tradition, the entrance from via Palestro will be decorated by the Fratelli Ingegnoli Nursery.

Visita la sezione dedicata: The entrances and fountain

Il Giardino Fiorito

The historic magazine founded in 1931 by the Italian Society Amici dei Fiori with the aim of promoting and encouraging the cultivation of flowers, the improvement of gardens and development of floriculture in Italy, came to light under the direction of Mario Calvino supported by his wife, Eva Mameli Calvino. During the 1950s it became the official organ of the Piedmont and Lombard Horticultural Societies, and with the latter the link continued for roughly 30 years and then again at the beginning of the new millenium.
For the 2017 edition, Orticola will issue a special edition of “Il Giardino Fiorito”, entirely dedicated to the flower show, to detail the work of the nurserymen, their research, their discoveries and their collections, relevant to the topic Italian plants for Italian gardens: including wild plants to use in the garden, umbelliferous and aquatic plants, Mediterranean scrub, antique fruit varieties, shrubs from our traditional hedges and wild orchids.


This year in May the Lombard Horticultural Society will launch a new and important initiative.
Each year an artist of high national and international renown will be given space in the big field at the centre of the show in the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens. Orticola has already hosted works and artists in the past, but this is intended to be become even more significant to offer more culture to the city of Milan and to allow the numerous paying guests to admire an important work of art.
Orticola will inaugurate this special new project dedicated to contemporary art with the opera “Flower” by Velasco Vitali.
This is a site-specific installation for the space in the heart of the public gardens, between two secular plane trees. A bed woven from steel threads imitates the cascading leaves of a Kashmir cypress or a weeping willow: it recalls the perfection of marquetry and chiselling, it reflects and refracts light playing (like leaves) with the sun and the angulation of its rays.

The juries

There have been two juries since last year: the Botanical Jury, a veteran of the show, which awards the special Orticola Prize to help to promote the nurserymen who are committed to research and detailed study. The six experts choose and award the most particular plants. The second is the younger Style Jury, composed of plant and garden enthusiasts, habitual Orticola visitors, coming from different sectors of society and Milanese culture.

Convivial moments

An important jewel in the crown at Orticola: in 2016 they numbered 129 involving more than 1,000 participants. The courses, conducted both in the three allocated areas and in nursery stands, have become a tradition for visitors and a confirmation for Orticola of its mission to spread and promote the knowledge and protection of every type of plant.
Friday is the day for enthusiasts and collectors, Saturday and Sunday are the days with the highest concentration of meetings: courses, demonstrations and book presentations for every taste. Children are also very important: particularly on Sunday, with special courses, just for them, to leave their parents free to enjoy the show: Kikolle Lab is present for the second year running in an exclusive space where, from 10a.m. till 6p.m. children from 3 to 12 can participate in amusing, creative green laboratories without mummy and daddy (at the cost of 10 euros).

The Brera rose


Rosa di Brera® by Rose Barni, from 1882 Rose d’Autore in Pistoia, Tuscany.

The collaboration between the Lombard Horticultural Society and Brera Art Gallery, is floral as well as cultural. The new hybrid Rosa di Brera® was created, a polyantha variety dedicated to the prestigious Milanese Picture Gallery, — Pinacoteca di Brera —, a special rose which will be cultivated in the Brera Botanical Garden from May.


Fringe Orticola and Museum Conventions

…with the Orticola 2017 ticket!

In May, with Fuori Orticola (Orticola Fringe), the Orticola al Museo (Orticola in the Museum) programmes will offer free or discounted entrances, special openings, guided tours and workshops.

Orticola in the Museum returns, uniting history, art and botany, involving the main city museums in a series of tailored initiatives: Brera Art Gallery, Gallerie d’Italia, Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, Modern Art Gallery (GAM), the Royal Palace and the Brera Botanical Garden of the Milan Università degli Studi, the Triennale Design Museum and the Muba Museum of Childhood.
The Orticola 2017 ticket offers reduced prices or free entrance for a certain length of time to various museums in agreement.

Another novelty in the Orticola Fringe in the heart of Brera is “A stroll along via Fiori Chiari”. Florists, flower designers and decorators will exhibit in via Fiori Chiari, in the heart of Brera, dressing shop windows and nearby spaces with plants and flowers, inside and out, recalling the name of the street and the flower show at the same time. The idea is a cornerstone of a new partnership involving Orticola, the via Fiori Chiari Retailers’ Association and the monthly magazine Marie Claire Maison with the contribution of CityLife.

Orticola Fringe continues with a programme of visits to the Brera Botanical Garden of the Milan Università degli Studi, with Trails through Botanical Biodiversity at Villa Lonati – “Comunemente Verde” headquarters of the Area Verde Agricoltura Arredo Urbano of Milan Municipality.

Orticola Fringe also in the Triennale Design Museum which every year displays Italian design using a system of representation, changing theme, scientific organisation and display in reply to the primary request “What is Italian Design?”, offering innovative aspects.

Then at the MUBA Museum which offers a special laboratory under the colonnade of the Rotonda di via Besana during the XXIInd Orticola Show. Children are involved in a creative trail to discover the link between art and the natural world, considering the latter as an inexhaustible source of knowledge and experience.

Other new additions are the Swiss Corner “Animated afternoons” with Gardenia magazine, in collaboration with Swiss Tourism, from Thursday 4th May to Sunday 7th May, meetings and workshops in the Swiss Corner of piazza Cavour, just a few yards from one of the Orticola entrances.

The GAM, Milan Modern Art Gallery programme offers several conferences dedicated to wild plants in historic gardens from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th May, presented by the garden curator Maria Cristina Cesana or the Anglicised eighteenth century gardens in Lombardy by Laura Sabrina Pelissetti, Presidente Regis, Historic Garden Network, followed by guided tours to discover the gardens of Villa Belgiojoso.
Linked to the conferences are botanical-naturalistic strolls in the eighteenth century garden “Trees, flowers and animals in the Royal Villa Garden”: strolls for children and their escorts to discover the plants and wild life in this historic Milanese park, with Margherita Lombardi of Italian Botanical Heritage, Loris Bassini, arboriculturist SIA (Italian Society of Arboriculturists), and Federica Luoni, naturalist from Lipu (Italian Society for the Protection of Birds). — All the programmes organised by the GAM museum are free of charge.

Calendar and other information: www.fuoriorticola.it (Italian only)

Extension of the Flowering Allotments at Citylife

The flowering allotments at Citylife, in an area doubled since the previous edition, offer a very varied project full of innovations waiting to be discovered …

More information Orti Fioriti a Citylife (Italian only)

Orticola’s Partners in 2017

Ceresio Sim | Milano Municipalty | CityLife | Persol | Dior | Mediterranea | Fraizzoli | Mida | IGP Decaux | I Fiori di Hortives