This is my response to the challenge issued by Cecilia in her blog ‘thekitchensgarden’.
I took the photos today in not very photogenic weather. Here our al fresco dining area is shining wet from the latest shower and Mount Subasio, beloved of St Francis, is blotted out by mist.
The plant bulging over the tiled surface on the left is thyme, and behind it, in front of the yellow roses, is one of many clumps of love-in-a-mist.
Just to the right of the door, a very different scene with the rain now drying up.
Galileo is climbing on what we call our ‘cold frame’ – spare double-glazed windows propped on crates so as to provide shelter for seedlings. You can see he’s wearing a bell round his neck – the sort hunting dogs wear. It has a lovely Alpine tinkle which we hope will enable us to find out where he goes when he runs off frightened and doesn’t come back for hours. The other two dogs are keeping him company.
Behind the cold frame is what we call the ‘shelter’ – pallets held upright by stakes driven into the ground – designed to stop light seed trays etc from blowing away in the wind. It’s got pretty cluttered over time.
To the left of the cold frame is the barbecue which we never finished building but which we’ve used like it is, with the blocks laid dry. At the moment it’s full of rosemary prunings so that our next fire will smell nice.
Beyond the stub lamp is a glimpse of the nearest house in that direction. It’s the only one which could, conceivably, overlook us!
The weather has wings, in other words it’s windy, and the flowers are swaying and fluttering.
The butterflies are hiding somewhere, afraid to take to the air.
There are normally several swallowtail butterflies around, alighting on the rosemary or doing a mating ‘pas à deux’ over the pond.
But today the only butterflies to be found are the ones I’m wearing round my neck and in my hair.
I’ve been a bit worried about the nectarine tree which had a hefty dose of leaf curl this year.
It also flowered just when the weather was wet and windy and there wasn’t much chance of pollination.
It’s never been a big fruiter: the nectarines it produces are wonderfully sweet and juicy, but small and few in number.
However there are a few coming along this season.
The first photo was taken a fortnight ago. The second photo (of a different cluster) was taken today.
Yesterday, May Day, was a public holiday here like in many other places.
Unlike Britain, which tucks it neatly onto a Monday, in Italy it falls as it falls; if on a Saturday or a Sunday – too bad.
I thought I would take a photo of this appositely named blossom, spreading its petals wide in the sunshine.
Just as well I took it when I did because the weather turned wet soon after.
Pear year – is this a tongue-twister or an eye-twister?
For some reason, the weather seems to have suited the pear trees.
This is probably the best of them but the others aren’t far behind.
Below is a cluster of flowers up close.
The nectarine tree is determined to bloom.
This is in spite of the fact that no self-respecting bee would venture out to pollinate in this wind and wet.
At least the blossom is pretty.
In fact I’d grow a nectarine tree just for that, even without the possibility of fruit!