Updates from the hills of Tuscany, a restored farmhouse in Chianti, midway between Florence and Siena. We write about local history and culture, life in Tuscany, the seasonal changes, pleasures of the garden and country kitchen, local stories and encounters with wildlife.
Gardening is hard work. Enjoyable, but hard. A vegetable patch, which requires constant care: planting, watering, hoeing,weeding, pruning and harvesting, and whose produce is by its nature almost entirely seasonal, is consequently very hard work. There is a local saying, l'orto vuole l'uomo morto or 'the vegie patch will be the death of you', loosely translated. With that in mind, here is how things are evolving da noi/chez nous.
We first noticed the long stalks with blackened buds at the end of one summer a few years ago. Wild foxgloves at Le Ripe. Next season revealed them to have rather dirty yellow flowers, not the favoured blue or purple.
After that we considered ourselves lucky to have native foxgloves yet unlucky that they were such an unprepossessing colour.
Once on a trip to Greece we noted the pots of small-leafed basil sitting, round and pretty, on verandahs. To our surprise we discovered that it was decorative basil, that the Greeks do not eat basil. Subsequently we introduced some Greek friends to pesto and it caused quite a sensation.