One for the gardening group

Trip Start Feb 05, 2010
Trip End Feb 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
chez villa Wareham

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Saturday, June 4, 2011

Waking at the sound of sparrow's this morning, hearing the sound of what turn out to be shotguns intermittently and smelling what I hope is manure recently spread on the fields around us made me realize how much of the green and growing stuff I have failed to mention in this travel blog.

Our drive-through of Nice was especially frustrating as there were so many nature strips I wanted to photograph. City councils could take a leaf from the Nicoise's book and apply the same principals. With beds that so much reminded me of what the Milson Community Garden did with the outside garden bed.
All the median strip beds had a mixture of flowering plants plus a few vegetables thrown in for colour and texture: artichokes and Tuscan Kale were mixed into beds that had bronze and red sunflowers, and the zinnias looked fabulous too.
Somewhere in France-I think it was where the Limoges shop was, we stopped to comment on the artificial look of the zinnias growing in a garden bed. Of course, I was with a girlfriend at the time, since when has Graham had an opinion on zinnias? What stopped us in our tracks was the fact that each plant was just one straight stem with a single flower atop each, planted at exact spacings and looking for all the world like fake flowers. How can nature be made to look so unattractive?
On our drive to where we are now staying we drive through some of the industrial north of Italy- maybe just a little bit if it,just outside of Lucca- great town must go back there-  but then suddenly we were driving through mile after mile of nursery wholesalers. They grew acres of advanced plants, and their specialty seemed to be topiary of any and every type of plant. There were row upon row of lollipop trees, conifers that were all exactly the same shape, cone shaped tops, round tops, large bowl shaped grapevines on single trunks, trees with red foliage, greens of every shade and muted silver grey. The effect was that we had lifted off planet earth and had been placed on a toy board game.
I already showed you photos of lots of fruits and vegetables that are in the markets. In Menton yesterday we spotted the curvy zucchinis that Carol had us growing at the end of summer, and the striped eggplants made me remember the bountiful harvest we had well into autumn at MCG.
As we left visiting Pont du Gard two days ago, we stopped by a roadside stall. Graham wanted strawberries, but they had all sold out, so I bought cherries and peaches instead. Heaven. What have we done with the fruit in our country that they have mutated into something so lackluster? These cherries were fat and so juicy you almost choked on the gush of juice each one released as you bit it. The peach was a revelation. Why didn't I buy a crate of them? They had proper fuzz on their skins and the flesh was I should have taken a photo of them.
And the flesh had fibers in it and they were the juiciest, peachiest peaches of my entire life.
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Geoff on

MCG = Milson Community Garden. I'll have to write that out 100 times, 'cos as an Aussie Rules fan I thought it meant something else.

deborah1212 on

That's right Geoff- think gardens not cricket grounds. Even as a die hard non-sports fan it took me a second or two to work that acronym out the first time I saw it.

Steven on

Come on guys we all know that when you write MCG all Aussies go YES the Community Gardens!

Steven on

Also I have the same problems with "white line fever" Deb. Maybe it's a genetic thing!

markm on

Glad PP worked out OK.
Nicole and I stayed at a villa outside of Lucca and had a really great
dinner at a place on a 1 lane road-everything grilled-Graham would have
loved it as the local soccer team was there-so when you go back let us know
and we will give you the details.

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