Until 2001, Jean Paul Brigand, a biologist and economist then based in Paris, combined his work as a financier with his passion for gardens. That was the year his passion won out, and together with his wife, Anne Kenny, he started out on a dream in the Alentejo region of Portugal. At his home, the Lugar do Olhar Feliz, all the senses come to life: from the sight of the beautiful David Austin roses to the scent of orange blossom. Here he cares for 350 kinds of citrus plant, one of the finest collections in southern Europe. Many of these citruses come from Japan, and the collection includes the famous Sorrento lemon, the variety used to make limoncello. Brigand has managed to create a botanist’s dream, overcoming all the difficulties involved in maintaining a collection of this size.
Lorenzo de’ Medici, a direct descendent of the famous family of patrons, is able to tell us about a Medici family secret, one that links him to Brigand: collecting citrus plants. He has also had a long career as a writer of novels (La conjura de la reina, Las cartas robadas, La palabra perdida), historical essays (Los Médici, nuestra historia) and travel guides. He has made documentaries about his family for major European television channels, such as Arte TV.
Both will be presented by Julia Casaravilla, museologist, conservator and owner of the Romeral de San Marcos, a garden designed by her husband, Leandro Silva.