Our summer’s weather…

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?

IMG_4447This 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.

2 thoughts on “Our summer’s weather…

  1. Dear Forrest, I follow your weather and gardening reports with great interest and joy. The weather in Lunigiana last year was, as you mentioned, really odd and the harvests low or totally missing. We took part in the vendemmia at a local ecologically driven vineyard and the harvest was meager there as well. We had to discard many damaged grapes. But the final grape juice tasted well and will make 2014 a good year for both Pinot Noir and Merlot. Other vineyards that used pesticides did not get a better harvest, I think.
    With regard to your comment regarding the fungus and upcoming use of spray, I was just wondering if you have ever thought about running your Codiponte garden without chemicals. We are well aware of the health problems and ecotoxicological effects linked to many of the gardening and household chemicals. We totally avoid herbicides or other pest controls in the garden and also in the household. Removing the aphids from the rosebuds is part of the daily round in the garden. Sealing every small hole in the windowsills and walls as well as vacuming the celing and dark corners to get rid of spiders (and worse) is also part of the deal. We took over our Monti house in 2013 and enjoy the life here and the gardening immensly. Now, the flowering and the fragrance from the wisterias is just wonderful. Wish you a wonderful summer, Agneta

  2. Dear Agneta,

    Thank you for stopping by to read my blog.

    I hate to spray. Verde rame is about all I can manage to use but, I am very good at finding excuses to do something else. That’s about it. What I do love is to be out-of-doors, moving about, digging, planting.

    I hope also for you a wonderful summer. The summer of the terrible earthquake was what I always expect in the Lunigiana… sunny, hot days and cool nights. Last summer was like a wet spunge.

    All the best,
    Forrest

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