Villa Della Pergola English gardens at Alassio

Fingers crossed we can all get to travel a bit later on this year, so if you plan to head to Italy's Genoa region, and you're a keen gardener, find time to visit these gardens on the Ligurian coast, fully restored to glory

Abundance of wisteria at Alassio

The Gardens of Villa Della Pergola at Alassio are a joy to wander around on a sunny afternoon and are a must for agapanthus and wisteria fans. A rare example of an English garden in Italy and described by William Scott in 1908 as '...one of the wonders of the Riviera..', the gardens should open to the public every weekend from late March. The 22,000m2 tiered gardens underwent a six year restoration programme overseen by landscape gardener Paolo Pejrone.

With spring soon to be sprung, lots of us will looking out of our windows and feeling an urge to make our gardens abundant with flora.

For inspiration, it's always worth visiting some of the splendid public gardens we have in the UK and on the Continent. And for anyone fortunate enough to head to north Italy's Ligurian coast this year, the restored Gardens of Villa Della Pergola in Alassio are well worth a visit to see how planting and hard landscaping come together to create an oasis of beauty.

Follow long meandering paths
The gardens are truly magnificent
the gardens have some 400 species of agapanthus

The Villa Della Pergola estate was built at the end of the 19th century and is a rare example of an English garden in Italy - closely associated with the British community that chose this stretch of the Riviera as its preferred holiday destination during this period.

The gardens offer the opportunity to walk through typical Mediterranean vegetation of marine pines, carob trees, olive groves and holm-oaks that has been cleverly interspersed with jacarandas and giant bird of paradise strelitzias from South Africa, eucalyptuses from Australia, bananas, all kinds of palms, aloes, agaves, Indian figs, cacti from every latitude, wisteriastumbergias, spirea or meadowsweet, hydrangeas, oleanders, scented pelargoniumslavenderbougainvillea, daturas, bignonias, solanum and jasmine.

The gardens host a number of botanical collections including citrus trees and wisterias, as well as a very important collection -  unique in Europe in terms of quality and quantity - of more than 300 varieties of agapanthus.

The gardens, which are part of the Grandi Giardini Italiani network, enjoy fabulous views that take in the whole of the Gulf of Alassio, with Corsica visible in the distance.