2 Nov 2014

Italy: September and October - home and garden

At the end of our time in Italy it was a satisfying feeling to be able to enjoy a tidy garden and raise a glass to a productive period there.  It wasn't all work as there were days when we were able to go out or spend time with family, but this post is about those days when we were at home.

After an early breakfast we were in the garden.  A girl went jogging by up the lane at the same time every morning before returning and effortlessly running back up the hill.

Baby snails munched at the young vine leaves.

A colony of adults were crammed into a space between the branches of the oleander and jasmine bushes.

Early morning was a good time to take a walk in the garden especially as most of the time I was working indoors. I was thankful for the sunshine streaming in through the windows. I did get rather obsessive about cleaning and sweeping!

Some of our fruit and nuts - table grapes, apples, end of season figs, hazelnuts and walnuts.

All the hedges and trees needed a drastic pruning and thinning out. The fruit and nut trees are fine, but we're rethinking what to do about the ornamental trees as they've grown too tall and bushy.  I don't like the idea of cutting down healthy trees, but that's probably what we shall do with them next Spring.

Meanwhile we hired the local logger who, with his wife, has a wood yard and logging business across the way to come and cut down the fir tree. When we first planted the fir tree the electric pole was much thinner and not in the same position on our land, but now the branches are a nuisance and the thick trunk is too near the high retaining wall.  It needed an expert to come and fell it and it was fascinating to see him make steps of the branches in order to climb higher before cutting off the top and then slowly working downwards.  Finally he cut up the branches for us, but then my husband had to split the logs.  It had to be done before the wood hardens off and even so it was hard work to cut up the bigger logs and then store them.  Thankfully a brother-in-law came to help.  We shall be glad of the logs especially as the hard wood will burn slowly and last longer in the wood burner.

                         Small branches were stacked outside and the logs stored in the garage.

 It wasn't all work and no play.  Next time I'll write about one of our visits to a local town.                        



  1. Hi LInda, Lots of hard work for sure--but doesn't it feel good when you can see the accomplishments? That's why I enjoy raking and blowing leaves.... I can see the results!!!! You all have a gorgeous place in Italy. Question: If you could live (with no strings or family attached) at one place or the other--would you choose Italy or England????I Believe I'd choose Italy... Beautiful there!!!

    Glad you got some great firewood for winter!!!! When will you go back to Italy?


    1. It's hard to choose where I would prefer to live because I'm English and love my country, heritage and using my mother tongue. I love the beauty of the landscape in Italy, the art and culture and the way of life especially in the countryside where the members of a family all support one another, but my children aren't there and family life is very important to the Italians so there's always that aspect to living there that's missing.

  2. I know to my cost how hard log splitting is, and those are big logs! Gorgeous views from your house Linda and the light that you have captured in the photographs is really lovely.

  3. It is everything I imagine when I think of Italy Linda. You have a super home, a lovely garden with spectacular scenery. Thank you for sharing these photos and I wish you a very happy week :)

  4. I would love to stand in the first photo and sit under that grape arbor in the green chairs. so much beauty in your outdoors area...I liked all the logging pics to.. now that is hard work and would force me to cook even though i don't like to. you have a really nice kitchen to work in.

  5. It is such a beautiful place isn't it. xx

  6. Hard labour Linda - glad to see you are getting some help as it's a huge project, and that you have good use for the wood. Sometimes it's the right decision.

  7. Such a lot of hard work, I'm pleased to hear that you took some time off too and look forward to hearing all about it.

  8. Love seeing your home in Italy. What a pleasure it must be to work in the beautiful surroundings both indoors and outdoors.
    How peaceful it must be.

  9. Yes, log fires take a lot of work, but it's very satisfying to be able to make use of what would otherwise go to waste. Your DH must be very fit after all that exercise. :-)