Linden and Basswood Trees

In the vast garden of the aristocratic palace of the Arese Borromeo in Cesano Maderno, towards the end of the parterre of hornbeams and yews, is a grassy area that comes before the oval basin and behind the refined, graduated Roman fountain.

This is in line with the loggia of the palace, decorated with two camel sculptures and ending with a basin where the water is gathered to be filtered underground and channelled to a large fishpond in front. Currently this little canal is surrounded by majestic specimens of linden trees with the heart-shaped leaves and the unmistakable fragrance from their flowers. The heart-shaped leaves have an intense green colour on the top of the leaf with a serrated outline and often slightly asymmetrical; at the bottom of the leaf are tufts of orange hair in the bifurcation of the nerves. They are often shiny and sticky from the sugary excrement (honeydew) secreted by the aphids.
The flowers hang in stalks with seven to eight floral elements on the same stalk carried by long, light-green, leaf-like bracts. They contain a mucilaginous substance and essential oils, which when dried in the shade, are used to prepare soothing, emollient and diuretic herbal teas.
The globular fruits do not have any hair and hang from bracts; once mature they use these bracts to be dispersed by the wind. From this, the name Tilia, is derived from the Greek word ptilon (wing, light feather) to recall the characteristic bract that supports the bud.
The linden foliage creates in this garden a pleasant chromatic contrast with the dark-green colour of the evergreen yews, as in the avenue that lines the grounds where the Villa Crivelli Pusterla in Limbiate (Mombello) once stood, and which was transformed into the Provincial Psychiatric Hospital of Milan. In this aristocratic home, the linden trees alternate with exotic palm trees (Trachycarpus fortunei) with fibrous stalks and leathery, fan-like leaves.
The long telescopic perspective on the far side of the Arese Borromeo Palace ends in a wooded area, and the geometric shaped trees created by man is lost in a harmonious blend of tall deciduous trees. Strolling along the alleys, one can enjoy the pleasant coolness and shade that these plants provide the visitors, who can stimulate their sense of sight by observing not only the aforementioned linden trees but also the immaculate blooms of the horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum), which are tinged in pink, leaving space for the shiny chestnuts and the large five-lobed leaves and mottled bark of the sycamore tree (Platanus sp.). Moreover, here we can study the varieties of oaks (Quercus petraea) and English oaks (Quercus robur), typical representatives of the primeval forests that once covered the plains of Lombardy.