Friday, June 20, 2014

Stones, steps, lawn and hortus

New at Le Ripe

Le Ripe has been undergoing some changes over the past months. A no-man's land has been graced with steps, a broken drystone wall is being replaced, a vegetable patch is gradually transforming into a hortus conclusus, a lawn has been sown, a new vegetable patch is to be established.
The lawn or prato inglese as our helper Paolo likes to call it, entailed a massive job of stone-harvesting, the bulk of which we completed in one back-breaking session. Sowing the seeds was a doddle by comparison. The daily watering has been handled by a chief hose-master who has been extremely assiduous.

We have finally found builders willing to lay a drystone wall; it will run along the back of the orchard where once the farmers had made their own wall. The stone comes partly from the old wall but mostly from near Greve; our stone is called alberese, this one colombino or, simply, pietra dura, hard stone. More on this when it is completed.
The new steps made with railway sleepers, and an attractive river-pebble gravel over a cement and rock aggregate called stabilizzato and non-woven fabric to protect from weeds. Here the (mostly aromatic) plants are in place.
view of steps from below; note large iron nails hammered in horizontally to fix the sleepers in place

These are big jobs, jobs for landscape gardeners and professional drystone masons, but we have done our part too.

hortus conclusus in former vegie patch with tufa edgings to beds; the roses are a temporary planting until we decide how formal we want to go

roses, lettuces and tomato plants for the nonce
 The plantings are in their infancy, the wall is still unfinished, the new lawn is tender, the hortus awaits its final formal planting; however we thought a progress report might be welcome.  

looking from new steps towards orchard, drystone wall and the area of our future vegie patch!


1 comment:

  1. Re prato inglese: I recall its former state, and now it looks so beautifully smooth, civilised and eminently suited to elegant garden parties, of champagne-swilling high-society types! Le Ripe moves up a notch on the social calendar?


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