Guido Brunetti Gardens: Derivative Donna Leon Gardens for Fathers Day

by DerdriuMarriner

Guido Brunetti gardens, as derivative Donna Leon gardens, are Dad-pleasing flower, ground-cover, herbal, kitchen and woody Fathers Day gardenscapes.

A two to three-week leave in the 2017 installment, Earthly Remains, by Donna Leon allows Venice's Commissioner to appreciate namesake Guido Brunetti gardens as derivative Donna Leon gardens for Fathers Day gardenscapes.

The gardenscape of edible, herbal, ornamental, woody plants on Sant'Erasmo (Saint Erasmus, 240?-June 10, 303?), the Venetian lagoon's market garden island, belongs to Guido's Falier in-laws. It centers upon a churning "sea of flowers, only flowers, growing in reckless abandon and with no apparent order, not of variety, colour, height nor size." Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series number 26 divulges few guidelines other than that "Colour ruled, shapes stood where they pleased, yet the whole was strangely harmonious."

Like the derivative cookbook and walking tours, Guido Brunetti gardens emerge from enumerating plants and their products employed, enjoyed and espied by Venice's practical-minded Police Commissioner.




cultivation of castraure (purple artichokes) on Sant'Erasmo, known as l'Orto di Venezia ("the Garden of Venice")

via de le Motte, Sant'Erasmo
via de le Motte, Sant'Erasmo

Flowers from Guido Brunetti's Venice for Fathers Day


Guido finds that he "had never been good at remembering the names of flowers," other than carnations, gladioli, lilies and roses and his wife's favorites, irises. 

Elettra Zorzi gets fresh bouquets Mondays and Thursdays from Biancat, Fantin or Rialto as "a necessary expense" for her secretarial anteroom to Vice-Questore Giuseppe Patta's "opulence." Metropolitan City of Venice flowers have name recognition for Signorina Elettra: asters, black-eyed Susans, calla lilies, chrysanthemums, crocuses, cyclamens, daffodils, daisies, field lilies, geraniums and hibiscuses. They include hyacinths, lilacs, lilies-of-the-valley, marigolds, orchids, pansies, roses (red, white, yellow), sunflowers, tulips, Venus fly-traps and zinnias and, as climbing vines, clematis, jasmine and wisteria. 

Ground-cover, herbal, kitchen and woody gardenscapes join insular and mainland flowerscapes in the Guido Brunetti gardens that derivative Donna Leon gardens jumpstart for Fathers Day gardenscapes. 


Brunetti's Venice: Walks With the City's Best-Loved Detective by Toni Sepeda, with an introduction by Donna Leon ~ Available now via Amazon

The Commissioner goes by police launch or water taxi or by short walks since Venice lacks land transportation. The series includes detailed city maps. The author's friend, Toni Sepeda, tells the stories of the places in her book and her walking tours.
Brunetti's Venice: Walks with the City’s Best-Loved Detective

Guido Brunetti's Edibles, Ground-Covers, Herbs for Fathers Day


The Sant'Erasmo country gardenscape keeps an "equally long row of rosemary and lavender" left of a "long row" of colored boxes on waist-high stands before trees. Donna Leon's 26-book literary crime fiction series, 1992-2017, lists for the Commissioner's herbal gardenscapes basil, capers, chamomile, garlic, ginger, mints, onions, paprika, parsley, sage and thyme. 

Soil-filled containers make up Metropolitan City of Venice ground-cover gardenscapes and mingle with cereal grasses, gravel, marsh grasses, moss and seagrasses on Sant'Erasmo and the mainland. 

Kitchen gardenscapes need niches for nurturing nutritious apples, apricots, avocados, blueberries, cherries, currants, figs, grapes, kiwis, lemons, olives, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates, raspberries and strawberries. 

Guido Brunetti gardens as derivative Donna Leon gardens for Fathers Day gardenscapes offer miscellaneous occurrences of coffee-friendly sugar beets and sugarcane, mushrooms, pasta-friendly grains and rice. 


Brunetti's Cookbook: recipes by Roberta Pianaro, culinary stories by Donna Leon

Guido's family describe him as fixated on food. The Commissioner knows how to help in the kitchen. He even survives with grace the first ravioli ineptly made by his daughter.
Brunetti's Cookbook

Guido Brunetti's Bushes, Shrubs, Trees for Fathers Day


Kitchen gardenscapes provide places for artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplants, endive, lentils, peanuts, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins and radicchio (Italian chicory). 

Corn, while qualifying as the source of flour for Guido's polenta, queues up with similarly prioritized radishes, spinach, squashes, tomatoes and zucchinis as kitchen gardenscape vegetables.

Woody gardenscapes recall herbal gardening with bay laurel, camphor, linden, verbena and willow and kitchen gardening with almond, cocoa, chestnut, coffee, hazelnut, pistachio and walnut trees. They serve as sources of natural fences with boxwood, of shade with acacia, linden, magnolia, palm and poplar and of timber with mahogany, oak and pine. 

Guido Brunetti gardens, as derivative Donna Leon gardens, thrive wherever Fathers Day gardenscapes take them: in beds, conservatories, courtyards, greenhouses or on patios, terraces, walls, windowsills.


Earthly Remains: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon

Donna Leon sets book 26 in her Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series on Sant'Erasmo. Her citified Commissioner spends more time in lagoon waters than country gardens. It takes him to scary discoveries about what Venetians swim in, not what they grow.
Earthly Remains: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Image Credits


cultivation of castraure (purple artichokes) on Sant'Erasmo, known as l'Orto di Venezia ("the Garden of Venice")
via de le Motte, Sant'Erasmo: Didier Descouens, CC BY SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons @'Erasmo_(island)_Via_delle_Motte_45.455718,_12.402925.jpg


Sources Consulted


Leon, Donna. Earthly Remains. New York NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017. 

Leon, Donna. Gondola. New York NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014. 

Leon, Donna. My Venice and Other Essays. New York NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013. 

Leon, Donna. Venetian Curiosities. With a Vivaldi CD by Il Complesso Barocco. New York NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2012. 

Pianaro, Roberta; and Leon, Donna. Brunetti's Cookbook. New York NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010. 

Sepeda, Toni. Brunetti's Venice: Walks with the City's Best-Loved Detective. With an Introduction by Donna Leon. New York NY: Grove Press, 2009. 


The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto by Jenny Condie; photographs by Alex Ramsay

Brackish water limits Venetians to courtyard gardens and indoor plants. The Metropolitan City of Venice nevertheless offers public gardens. Perhaps Guido Brunetti someday will tour these world-famous city, provincial and regional gardens.
The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Gondola by Donna Leon

The lagoon's brackish water keeps gardens tiny in Venice. Water transportation moves Venice's old families to and from country estates on nearby Sant'Erasmo. Venetian cuisine thrives on imports and Sant'Erasmo's fresh produce.

My Venice and Other Essays by Donna Leon

Tourists move almost as confidently as natives thanks to Donna Leon's fact-based fiction and non-fiction writings. The Guido Brunetti series mentions real places. Its maps also situate occurrences in the author's book of essays.
My Venice and Other Essays

Venetian Curiosities by Donna Leon: music by Antonio Vivaldi, with Riccardo Minasi conducting Il Complesso Baroco

Donna Leon calls Venetians "fierce and devoted keepers of records." She extracts seven oddities from the 300-room, 70-kilometer- (43.49-mile-) long Archivio di Stato's documents. Guido Brunetti's readers already know about an elephant going to church.
Venetian Curiosities

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine ~ In memoriam: Gusty inspired me to write 522 Wizzley pages and loved the treats that she received from my Amazon commissions.

As of this page on "Guido Brunetti Gardens," my 523rd Wizzley, Rennie and Rosy mew their thanks to readers of this page and hope our product selection interests you; they look forward to Amazon treats.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 03/01/2024, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 08/22/2022

WriterArtist, Thank you for the re-visit.

Me too, I agree with you that chocolates, flowers and gardens are beloved gifts for men who appreciate the trio as well as for women.

The United States has a volunteer program, called Master Gardening, through state university extension departments. Canada liked their achievements and replaced extension agents with master gardeners sometime before 2008.

United Statesian master gardeners organize community and school edible, native-plant and ornamental gardens as well as farmers market, library, park, public-building and school lectures, plantings and trainings. You will find a couple three-plus men in every 20-some-member chapter pre-induction classes.

WriterArtist on 08/20/2022

DerdriuMarriner, if women can love chocolates and flowers, men might prefer them too. I totally agree on men who are fond of gardening. Some of them put a lot of effort and passion in making their garden edible and beautiful.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/16/2022

WriterArtist, It's generally a rarity here unless the flowers are as seeds or specimens from expensive species for collectors or for men who really, really love to garden and participate in flower shows.

But then, on the other hand, I know here of men who like to receive chocolates and flowers with their favorite meals.

WriterArtist on 06/15/2022

Dear DerdriuMarriner, No-one considers giving flowers for Father's Day. However; I think it is a good idea. Dads all over the world will welcome flowers as gifts.

DerdriuMarriner on 11/23/2019

WriterArtist, Thank you for stopping by and appreciating gardens based on the plants mentioned in the Guido Brunetti mystery series that Donna Leon sets in Venice.
Edibles and ornamentals are so practical as balcony, courtyard, indoor and windowsill plants. Me too, I see herbs as priorities for indoor and outdoor plants, for beauty, flavoring and scent.

WriterArtist on 11/18/2019

I love gardens and they are always preferred when site-seeing. I am into gardening of ornamental plants and flowers but this article inspires me to try growing edible garden. With limited space, I want to grow herbs first in the pots.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/09/2017

blackspanielgallery, The Commissario Guido Brunetti series is an excellent introduction to, and review of, Venetian art, cuisine, culture, history and music.

blackspanielgallery on 06/07/2017

I like the fact that much is edible.

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