A manager hit by a sudden passion for gardening created this unique peony garden. Masterfully blending with the countryside, it revives the old tradition of beauty and productivity.

The story of this garden started in New York in the early 1960s when while on a three-day diplomatic trip to the US Mao’s right arm Zuho Enlai dedicated one whole day to visiting a peony garden. Since his childhood, Osti had developed an unconditioned love for nature and, being aware of Zuho Enlai’s refinement and culture, decided to follow his example. That was how Osti fell in love with peonies, flowers with such a brief yet beautiful flowering. Years later he bought some land not far from Bolsena that was perfect for growing these particular flowers, with centuries-old cork oaks, oaks and olive trees. The garden that was developed reflects the character of its founder, the curiosity and perseverance that led him to find spontaneous peonies in China, where he also discovered a strong, tall, robust, austere and vigorous species that has been named after him: Peonia Ostii. Also growing in the park is the Magnolia Gian Lupo that Peter Smithers, the British spy who inspired Ian Fleming’s Agent 007, dedicated to Osti. Over the years, the garden has developed into a very personal botanical collection with thousands of peony plants blossoming between April and May growing on the volcanic soil of the hills by Lake Bolsena, surrounded by centuries-old olive trees whose fruits are used to make organic oil. The relation between the garden and the countryside is very close: the peonies grow just next to the olive trees, blending with the fruit trees and demarcating the borders of the vegetable garden.