The Garden of "Le Zoccate"
The Garden of Le Zoccate is located on the northern outskirts of Massafra, near Taranto. The two hectares of land were part of the estate of the nearby farm house of Santa Croce farmhouse, developed an ancient rock settlements, rich in archaeological remains.
The garden consists mainly of native flora and has an irregular and unstructured shape, as the vegetation grows in ancient quarries of limestone (dating back to the fifteenth century). The quarries are irregular in size, some are few meters deep and narrow, others quite wide and shallow. In the local dialect, these quarries are called Zukkate (from the instrument used to cut the rock, called Zuòkke) from which the Garden is named.
The garden developed gradually; at first, a long and painstaking work was necessary to remove the waste that piled up when the place was left unattended; then dry and scrub trees that stifled the rest of the vegetation were removed; in this way, the flora has regained its habitat naturally.
Apart from some ancient olive tree and two specimens of Ceratonia Siliqua, the arboreal vegetation consists of Aleppo pines and many other Mediterranean plants; against the ancient limestone walls of the quarries, large bushes of Pistacia Lentiscum intertwine with Salvia triloba, Rosmarinus officinalis, Phlomis fruticosa and Cistus of Montpellier, which abundantly blooms in spring.
At Le Zoccate, spring illuminates the glades, Linum spring out apparently of newhere, blue Arganetta, Anthemis, conical Silene; the blooming season is short but it creates beautiful tapestries of flowers, dotted with white, blue, pink and yellow. In the summer, the clover and Scabiosa cretica become protagonists of the garden.
Disclaimer: The information and the text about the garden are provided by the owners