We come to Żelazowa Wola to be moved. Although we know that the entire estate – the manor house which is no more, the annexe where the Chopins lived, which is essentially the work of later generations, styled according to their tastes, the immediate and further surroundings – does not really bear any resemblance to the place where Fryderyk Chopin entered the world, it still creates a space that affords the visitor an exceptional closeness to the composer.
We come for knowledge, and we take a close look around the interiors of the Birthplace, painstakingly arranged with displays that seek to forge the best possible narrative.
We also come in search of repose, time to reflect, the simple pleasure of escaping from our everyday chores – and then we enter the park. Spread out over more than six hectares, it is a unique work of art, conceived and arranged in every detail, yet at the same time a natural, remarkable modernist memorial to Chopin.
It is the park, more precisely the hundreds of species of flowers and shrubs that grow in it, which is the subject of this book. Let us allow ourselves to be led around Chopin’s birthplace, seeking the flower-beds, learning the charming names of the plants that fill them, getting to know their history, habits and functions.
One thing is certain: anyone who embarks on such an enhanced stroll around the park at Żelazowa Wola will want to find out more and more about it, returning to it in all the seasons of the year.