This month many of us are looking forward to the spring, when the weather warms up and we can get out in the fresh air a bit more. Spring is one of the best times to visit Italy – the temperatures are starting to get warmer but it’s not too hot, there are often less tourists than in the summer months, and there are so many beautiful flowers in bloom. It’s a great time of year to be out and about, whether it’s in the garden, in the countryside or walking in the parks in the towns and cities throughout Italy.

If you like gardening, flowers and plants, and would like to be able to talk about them in Italian, then this language lesson is just right for you!

So how do you say ‘gardening’ in Italian? ‘Giardinaggio’ is the word for gardening, and the verb to use with it is ‘fare’. ‘Fare’ is an irregular verb that we’ve covered in previous language articles, so if you need a reminder see here. You might need to go a garden centre or plant nursery to get your supplies, in Italian this is called ‘un vivaio’ or ‘un centro di giardinaggio’.

Here you can find:

Le piante – Plants

I fiori – Flowers

Gli alberi – Trees

Gli arbusti – Shrubs

I bulbi – Bulbs

I semi - Seeds

I cesti sospesi – Hanging baskets

Il compost – Compost

Il fertilizzante – Fertiliser

Attrezzi da giardinaggio – Gardening tools

 

The word for garden in Italian is ‘il giardino’ and if you are lucky enough to have a vegetable garden in your home then this would be ‘l’orto’ in Italian. Here are some verbs which may be useful to talk about planting, growing and looking after your plants in your ‘giardino’ or ‘orto’:

 

Piantare – to plant

Concimare – to fertilise

Coltivare – to grow

Fiorire – to flower, to blossom

Sbocciare – to bloom

Innaffiare  - to water

 

If you have a vegetable garden, perhaps you grow some herbs such as ‘il prezzemolo’ – parsley or ‘il basilico’ – basil. In spring in Italy you could also grow a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Here is a selection:

 

Le carote – Carrots

I porri – Leeks

Il sedano – Celery

Il cavolo – Cabbage

Le melanzane – Aubergines

La rucola – Rocket

Gli spinaci – Spinach

Le zucchine – Courgettes

I peperoni – Peppers

I pomodori – Tomatoes

 

Maybe you also enjoy growing flowers in your garden? Well here are the names of some of the most common flowers that you see in Italy in the spring and summer months:

 

I gerani – Geraniums

Le primule – Primroses

I tulipani – Tulips

Le begonie – Begonias

I crochi – Crocuses

Le fresie – Freesias  

La lavanda – Lavander

I narcisi – Narcissus

Le margherite – Daisies

Le gerbere – Gerbera daisies

Le rose – Roses

I girasoli – Sunflowers

I gigli - Lillies

Let’s not forget ‘le mimose’ (mimosas). On 8th March throughout Italy, you often see women carrying bunches of these yellow flowers, as they are often given to them to celebrate International Women’s Day. This day is known in Italian as La festa della donna.

 

Che bei fiori!  Such beautiful flowers!