"Rappaccini's Daughter" is characterized by rich imagery in its descriptions of the garden and its beauty, and these descriptions captivate both Giovanni and the reader. As Giovanni looks down into the garden beneath his window, he is impressed by the beauty of its plants:
There was one shrub in particular, set in a marble vase in the midst of the pool, that bore a profusion of purple blossoms, each of which had the lustre and richness of a gem; and the whole together made a show so resplendent that it seemed enough to illuminate the garden, even had there been no sunshine.
The elaborate visual imagery conveys the bewitching beauty of the garden for Giovanni. The "purple blossoms" are described as having a "lustre," which refers to a soft glow or sheen. In turn, the flowers stand out as bright, glistening objects in the garden. Furthermore, the story metaphorically suggests that the flowers are so lustrous and rich that they resemble gems, as they seem to glow of their own accord. In fact, the garden's beauty seems too great to be natural. The imagery here not only invites the reader into the mixture of awe and skepticism that the garden inspires in Giovanni, but also implies that there is more to the garden than meets the eye.