Flowers before Liberation Day…

A medley of Il Poggiolo’s first floral efforts on this day before Italy’s Liberation Day. Stores are open, Thank God. Restaurants are busy for pranzi. Folk come to Codiponte to pass the holiday, Spring’s true start, and to mainly shake-out Winter from the rafters. Gads.

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What gardening is to me…

I’ve returned home to Italy. You was happy to see me back in the bosom of Our Family. He was even happier when I unpacked his geeefts from USA. Amazing the effect a package of Jockey V-neck T-shirts can provoke. You liked the other stuff too. Ditto for the Dogs. It did require some time for those two Weimaraners to truly understand and accept that I was the me they had remembered before I had abandoned them to someone else for their twice daily w-a-l-k-s. They kept sniffing my breath for a couple of hours afterwards for The Undeniable Confirmation. I guess there are worse ways to be identified. Nina, ye of little faith, now follows me wherever I go. And where do I go? Into the garden, of course!

Winter killed a ton of lavender. And typically, some geraniums were dried to a crispy brown perfection though safely stored away from the elements. And, for some odd reason, a gardenia was reduced to a similar state. Nothing to do but to head to the local nursery… on the crest of a hill, the steep grade requiring 1st gear all the way to the top… for replacements, substitutions and additions to il Poggiolo’s plant life.

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While tootling through the Lunigiana country-side, the top down in the FIAT… sun shinning, birds singing, a light breeze from the SW… I meditated upon the question of what gardening is for me. The musings circulated around comparing my ambitions to those of my American friends whom I know are passionate about perennials, trowels, fertilisers, and such. I spoke with one while in the States who had just been awarded the distinction of A Master Gardner. She had completed a two month course for the honoured certificate. How can someone be A Master Gardner after only two months of study? You need a lifetime… at least! Two months ain’t enough time to instruct on a few of the mainstays of Italian gardening… the phases of the Moon, what’s good to do on a cloudy day and what not to do when the winds hark from a weird direction, as they have been doing since 2001… much less on how to deal with an uncooperative lawn-mower. My exercises lead me to the following conclusion: I care for just two sure-fire gardening tasks: sinking plants into Mother Earth and cutting her grass every Thursday. That’s it. I suppose A Master Gardener has to like weeding, spraying for disease and/or fungus and extracting dead plants to go to all the trouble of obtaining a certificate, for crying out loud! And, God Bless, I do not need a certificate to do what I love to do. Those other tedious tasks I tackle, but only after a rare power breakfast.

As you can see, I have some work to do this afternoon but first, a nap. Gads.