Poppies Laurie Fox Pessemier acrylic/canvas 10.5 x 14" 24 x 35 cm 390.00
“I wish I could get my roses to climb in the trees like that.” “Well, we’d need trees first.”
Sketches from the Rose Garden 8 x 14" 20 x 35cm 90.00 each/pair 150.00
We visited the rose garden at Rocca Antica today. It is one of the most extensive collections of rose specimens in all of Europe, with near 6,000 different varieties. We have never been there when it was open, but this time two African men pulling weeds around the roses let us wander around the grounds. The time before the caretaker welcomed us and two friends, for a quick 20 under the table. The rose garden is mainly used for weddings, which have been off-limits for the last 15 months. Not to mention, Italy has the lowest marriage rate in all of Europe. It's hard to believe marriage is so spurned, in this still very catholic country. But young people opt for a civil union, if any formal union at all. The rose garden is going to seed.
I am always happy just to skirt the garden itself, with roses climbing up trees, and around the wrought-iron fence. The colors are beyond belief, almost neon in their brilliancy. Today was a greyish day, the perfect light to see color. There are magentas and purples, reds and oranges, variegated varieties, yellows, whites.
We walked around the exterior with Harika. She’s not much interested in the flowers, instead tracking the small animals that prowl the grounds. The garden is located in the La Tacita Country Club – I don’t think it’s a club at all, there is certainly no golf course or pool. I have been there four times, and never saw anyone there except workers.
People All Around Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 19.5 x 16" 50 x 40cm 450.00
They have a lovely olive grove with some of the tallest black cypress I have ever seen. The grounds are extensive. Blair is always antsy when we are there, as if we could be arrested for looking at things. I must admit it has a certain “Beauty and the Beast” sense, which for me is totally intriguing. The gate is always open.
View of Tiber Valley Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 11 x 17.5" 25 x 45 cm 450.00
Nobody in Stimigliano admits to the garden’s existence, just 15 minutes from here. We told Angelo, a fellow dog owner, we were on our way there – he'd never heard of it. “I’ll tell my wife,” he says.
Through My Window Laurei Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 16" 40 x 40cm 400.00
I am always seeking an adventure.. With my new 500 words-a-day writing goal, I have decided to showcase places I travel to. Not that it is just about seeing the place, but the side stories are always good. Like finding a garden where no one ever visits; two refugees welcoming us in, smelling the roses, drawing pictures. I am reading the book The Lost Pianos of Siberia – it’s a vehicle to talk about the history of Siberia and its people, and of course, its pianos.
Thistles Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 13" 41 x 33cm 450.00
On the way home, I get Blair to stop so I can cut a thistle to paint later on. It’s the prickliest flower I have ever touched—with pliable thorny leaves that really scratch. At least a rose has fixed thorns.
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