Spring View Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 14 x 20" 35 x 50cm
Pussy Willows Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 20 x 12" 50 x 30cm
Willows in Spring Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/ canvas 12 x 20" 30 x 50cm
“That looks like a good nursery”, Blair commented on our drive home from Bologna. We stopped. I have been coveting Royal Empress trees (Paulownia Tomentoso), but getting ones of the right size has been impossible. They are either two small, 18 inches tall; or too big, 12 feet tall with a root ball requiring a backhoe to plant. Blair fell for four crabapples, pink and white, about 9 feet tall, with manageable roots. They would deliver.
We’ve been working on our yard here in Rocca Malatina. Everything we have bought for the yard is flowering, or at least colorful: two persimmon trees, two pomegranates, two butterfly bushes, 9 climbing roses and now, the flowering crabapples. I’ll be 80 before they all reach maturity, but I am assured there will be some result the first year.
The trees at the lovely Villa Luisa across the street, have been cut back to look like clubs – no branches at all. It is so ugly, I can’t bear to look over there, but am forced to if I try to leave our house. People say things, like, “it had to be done”, “it’s so much brighter”, “it will grow back”. I say “HA!”
I am reminded of bad haircuts at Norma’s Beauty Salon as a child: it will grow back, they’d say. I tell myself it was because my mother wanted to make me look ugly; maybe they were afraid I would fall victim to the evil eye if I looked too good, or I’d be kidnapped. Who would kidnap ME? I think they were jealous I was so good looking, and it’s the same for Villa Luisa – it was a nicer house than most, and it had to be wrecked. I knew someone who won a new car and his friend shot it up with a shotgun because he was jealous. You get the picture.
We have actually hired a gardener to do our work. Vicenzo is a gentle giant of a man, who lovingly trims our existing roses. He’s made a (hopefully) chicken-proof fence for the climbing roses. Even Ludovico our caretaker, seems impressed. He had a talk with me about the dead geraniums in the basement. I am planning to get a croquet set for the yard, and we just bought bocce balls. Badminton is ready to fly.
I am thinking about Sunday lunches, with neighbors and refugees (not at the same time). Blair and I and Harika ate outdoors today. And then a game of quoits.