Beautiful trees

Spring has been odd this year, but finally everything is turning green. Frassino, or flowering ash trees don’t flower every year, but this year they are spectacular.

It is possible to see the beautiful white flowers dotted all over the hillsides around Bagni di Lucca.

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

It has been interesting to watch the developing leaves and flowers.

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Frassino trees

Spring is a delightful time to be in Tuscany.

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

Verdemura, Lucca garden event

Verdemura, the annual garden show started today on the wall of Lucca. It is in a new spot near Porta San Donato and Porta Santa Anna.

Verdemura 2018

There were not quite as many plants as last year. I think this cold spring has held back plant growth. There is still plenty to see and buy and it was a glorious day…perfect for some time on the wall.

Verdemura 2018

Verdemura 2018

Verdemura 2018

Of course there is also food…cheese, salumi and a happy face.

Verdemura continues tomorrow and Sunday. Entry is €6.

Verdemura 2018

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?