Not that I am a farmer, far from it, but I do watch & worry about the weather. My favourite grandmother, who WAS one and responsible for acres and acres and acres of agricultural land in the fine State of South Carolina, began each letter to me with a description of the most recent weather. Then, she’d change subjects by encouraging me to get better grades in school. She was an elementary school teacher back in nought-seven. Her messages always concluded with… C-‘s are not acceptable. You CAN do better. Your father was a good student and never got a C- in his life. Oh, well… Can we please go back to talking about the weather?
This past weekend’s weather forecast was not a good one for the arrival of You, a favoured niece and her new boy-friend. These last two were instantly indentured to working in the kitchen to prepare meals. They seemed happy to do so. You proceeded with a new Garden Inspection. Those spiffily dressed Capitani del Meteo at RAI-TV had predicted a 70% chance of rain showers for Friday night and all day Saturday. OK, we’ll move furniture around. What we got instead was last summer’s cap of heavy, sodden clouds, muggy temps and NO RAIN!!! Yet, had we hopped over the hill to Monzone and Gragnola, we would’ve discovered that they and their sister villages all got a soaking. Those same meteorological geniuses had also predicted a splendidly sunny Sunday. At least that. But no. The sun did not splendere until we had exited the autostrada back in Genoa on our return to urban civilisation. It was cold too.
I’m a pessimist and I fear the worst for Our Summer 2015. I think the weather wants to tug back to last year’s boring bouts of short-spells of s-u-n and HOT, HOT, HOT weather and LONG, LONG, LONG stretches of cloudy, muggy days with NO RAIN!!! The wonderful lady in Codiponte, who helps me in il Poggiolo’s garden… she specialises in roses while her husband prunes the fruit & olive trees… complained to me of fungus, as we tied new bamboo to the rose pergola on the ramp beside the Esseccatoio. Her complaining included comments on last year’s grape & olive vendemmie. They were non-existent, thanks to the fungus invasion brought on by pollution mixed with humidity and not enough s-u-n. Her summation was to point to a nearby hedge of pitosfero… a waxy leaf plant with a small creamy white flower packing a power-scent of honeysuckle… to demonstrate the fresh tell-tale signs of fungus. Yep. Yellowed leaves with tiny brown spots. Fungus. I HATE it. Means I’ll have to spray and soon. Gads.