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.
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?
The pansies on the bridge in front of my apartment at Ponte a Serraglio this year have put on a fabulous show. We have had little rain or wind since they were planted and they have thrived.
They were still looking great, but they won’t last through the summer and it is now time to plant the geraniums.
This year I have had help to plant the flowers on the bridge. It has been great. There are lots of pots and dragging the bags of soil, carrying the plants and digging up the old ones takes time, so having 2 helpers made a big difference. Thank you Paul and Sheila.
Paul also cleaned out and replanted the large pots beside Villa Fiori. (Somebody pinched one of the lavender plants almost immediately, which is a bit disappointing).
We are now thinking of buying some new hanging pots for the lampposts along the river and planting more geraniums. There is a reasonable amount of expense involved in this, so if anyone would like to contribute it would be appreciated. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping out.