A difficult time

I put the pansies on the bridge in Ponte a Serraglio. earlier this week. I felt a bit like a criminal being outside when we are supposed to stay inside our homes. I thought it might cheer up our lovely village just a bit.


I am hoping that by the time they grow ( like these from a couple of years ago) in a few weeks this awful virus will have subsided somewhat and people can slowly return to normal life.

An Italian friend who has lived in Ponte a Serraglio for most of her life has told me she is proud of the way the people of Bagni di Lucca have responded to the lock down.

People are staying in their homes as much as possible. At least one local supermarket is making deliveries to all of the villages of Bagni di Lucca. A restaurant is cooking and delivering food to those who need it. The pharmacy at Ponte a Serraglio has an excellent system of serving customers while making sure there is safe contact. 

If everyone plays their part to be safe and there is an improvement with the spread of the virus maybe the lock down will not need to be extended…let’s hope the effort is worthwhile.

Flowers and art in Lucca

The annual flower display in conjunction with the celebration for Saint Zita is on in Lucca right now.

As well as the display in front of the San Frediano church, the anfiteatro is full of gorgeous plants available for sale. It is a lovely time to be in the piazza.

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca

The flowers will be in the anfiteatro until Friday this week.

Sculptures by artist Jimenez Deredia are being installed in various locations around Lucca. We found some beside the San Michele church and Piazza San Martino.

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca

The art pieces will be on display until 10th September…plenty of time to find them.

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca

The other white flowers

At around the same time, or just after the acacia flowers bloom, come the white or cream clusters of flowers on the sambuca trees.

The tree is also known as elder or elderberry. The flowers can be used to make cordial, syrup, liqueur or jam. The essence of the flowers is sometimes added to Sambuca, the Italian anise flavoured liqueur. They can also be cooked and eaten. The flowers are followed by black, blue black or red berries.

 

 

White blossoms

Acacia trees are in full bloom and right now are covering the hills around Bagni di Lucca.

Bees love the flowers and they make delicious honey.

The flowers are edible. You can dip them in a light batter and fry them. I haven’t tried that but I have eaten one straight from the tree and it tasted a bit like raw peas.

I love the flowers and the smell is heavenly, but they make me sneeze.

i know they are a pest and it is a pity the hillsides are not covered with chestnut, hazelnut, walnut and cherry trees. If you look at old photos of Bagni di Lucca you will see that the hillsides were terraced. Grapevines and vegetables were grown, so the chestnut trees are long gone. The farms were abandoned and acacia grows more quickly than more useful trees, so we are now left with acacia. They are beautiful, but they are a menace…any takers for removing them to start a replanting process?

Don’t forget Verde Mura

Friday 31st March is the first day of the Verde Mura, the wonderful garden event held every year on the wall of Lucca.

Here is a reminder of what to expect.

Friday 31st March…12.00 – 19.00

Saturday 1st April…9.30 – 19.00

Sunday 2nd April…9.30 – 19.00

Entry fee €6 for 1 day

€10 for 2 days

€15 for 3 days.

There is a reduced price of €3 for those over 65 and for children.

Ponte pansies

The pansies on the bridge haven’t been the best this year. They are nowhere as good as those from last year. I have no idea why, perhaps the weather didn’t suit them.

In about a week I will take them out and replace them with geraniums for the summer. Let’s hope they do better.

Take a last look at the 2016 pansies.

Ponte pansies

Ponte pansies

Ponte pansies

Ponte pansies

Ponte pansies

Ponte pansies

Ponte pansies

Anyone who would like to help water them over the summer please let me know.

 

 

Garden show

It wasn’t great weather for the first day of Verde Mura, the garden show on the wall of Lucca, but it didn’t stop the crowds.

Verde Mura

Verde Mura

We went in search of peonies and hydrangeas for our mountain house, but it also fun to wander to see all the gorgeous plants on offer.

Verde Mura

There are other things to see and buy too, not all garden related.

Verde Mura

Verde Mura

It wouldn’t be an exhibition without food.

Verdemura is on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of April as well. Don’t miss it if you are in the area. http://www.verdemura.it

We found peonies, georgeous hydrangeas, aquilegias, daphne, and some acanthus…which will all be planted today.