Archive for April, 2009

An expensive plant

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009


The plant in the picture is an Echium and since I saw it in a gardening book I thought it would look good in our garden. It is a Mediterranean plant and thrives in hot dry conditions. Believing in global warming I thought starting to get Mediterranean plants for the garden would be good future planning. Tried to order it from local garden centres but got no joy. Then discovered a garden centre in Toscany who deliver. So ordered one from them at a cost of 7 euros plus postage. The postage came to 13 euros and so I am now the proud owner of a 20 euro plant. However, if it looks as good as the picture it will be money well spent.

A day out in Rome

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

giotto exhibition

Last week we went to Rome for the day with Elizabeth and Peter. We meet Elizabeth at Carbarnardi and Peter in Rome as he comes down from Florence. Expecting bad weather I took overcoat and umbrella. As it turned out we had a beautiful warm, sunny day.  We had gone to see the Giotto exhibition – the first exhibtion about Giotto since the 1930s. It was a bit disappointing as there were a few works by him and lots by less talented contemporaries. But we found a good restaurant for lunch. In fact, we found the wrong restaurant for lunch. Someone had recommended a place near the pantheon. I had searched on the internet and found, mistakingly, what was the restaurant. However, the one we found  was good. We were able to eat outside and I had, for the first time, “carciofi alla romana” (artichokes roman style). They are cooked globe artichokes in an oil, parsley, mint sauce – delicious. After lunch we had a quick visit to a book shop and a leisurely stroll back to the station.

When we arrived back in the Marche it was obvious that it had been an horrendous day. There was heavy rain and mist. Driving back from Fabriano in Elizabeth’s car was slighly scary. Driving over the “back route” to Carbarnardi in the rain, the mist, and the steamed up windscreen, was not for the faint hearted. At Elizabeth’s house we finished the day with a cup of earl grey tea to help settle the nerves. 

Orto 2009

Thursday, April 16th, 2009


Our orto (vegetable patch) is very small scale compared to most ortos in San Giorgio. But it has now been planted and we can look fowarded to corgettes, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and lettuce. The basil still has to be planted.

Out of the blue!

Thursday, April 16th, 2009


Yesterday Bill received a telephone call from his godson, Jonathan, who was near Ancona having left Lecce (far south) in the morning. They had not seen each other for about 15 years and so the phone call was, to say the least, unexpected. Jonathan had driven from Oxford to Lecce and was now meandering his way back home. He arrived with us about 5.30, no doubt feeling shattered after a full day’s driving. But after a quick shower we went out for a meal and a plate of pasta, a fillet steak, salad and ships managed to quell his appetite. He was on his way to Ravenna and so left early this morning as the cities of the north held more appeal than the village life of San Giorgio.

All that way for a few plants!

Friday, April 10th, 2009

On Tuesday went, with a keen gardening friend Elizabeth, to Budrio near Bologna. Apparently famous as a research centre for prosthetic limbs, it is also home of Flora2000, a garden centre. The owner has an occasional programme on TV and is very personable and knowledgable. So we hoped for good things from the garden centre. After nearly 2 hours driving we arrived and were not disappointed. It was well laid out and every plant had a name and a price. Unlike garden centres near San Giorgio there was no need to ask a member of staff where a plant was and how much it costs. At the cash desk we did ask about somewhere to eat and we were directed to a nearby restaurant. After the long drive we were ready for cold meats, followed by taglioni with sage and butter, a mix (roast meats and boiled meats with roast potatoes and vegetables), pudding, coffee and wine. Portions were on the large size and we manged the trip back to San Giorgio without falling asleep at the wheel. For us a lovely day out, for our Italian friends a long way for just a few plants.

Morning mists

Friday, April 10th, 2009

mist in garden

Beautiful sunny weather during the day has meant morning mists (view from kitchen window). Sometimes so heavy and occasionally long lasting, that it stops planes landing at Ancona airport. We discovered this when returning to Italy last week. Unable to land at Ancona the plane had to land at Perugia and we were then taken by bus to Ancona (2 hrs). Instead of arriving at 1.00 we arrived at 5.00. Being Ryan Air only buses = no refreshments were provided.

Friday, April 10th, 2009

mayoral election

A second grouping is ready to present itself to the people of San Giorgio for mayoral election in June. The leader of the group, Insieme for San Giorgio (Together for San Giorgio) is Sabrina Ceccarelli  (front row, woman in white)

They will present their ideas for the future of San Giorgio in a public meeting after Easter.

San Giorgio football goes international

Friday, April 10th, 2009

There is a two day, an under 16 football tournament in San Giorgio and Orciano this week. There are teams from San Giorgio, Orciano, Mondavio, Calcinelli and two teams from France. Age restrictions are to be strictly applied and so the San Giorgio team, which normally fields some 13 and 14 year olds, will bring in some new 15 and 16 year olds. So perhaps now San Giorgio has a chance of bringing home the trophy.

Traffic control

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

traffic sign

Between our house and the castle wall there is  narrow road which becomes narrower as you reach the junction.  The apartments at this point on the road have had the down pipe from the gutter dented a few times and their wall has some colourful scrapes where Italian drivers thought they could squeeze their cars through. Beside the down pipe there is also gas pipes which so far remain undented.  Early last year there was talk of the council closing the road but in the few days that we were away it happened. 

Story of a clematis

Friday, April 3rd, 2009


Our clematis amandii is in full flower and has been commented on by neighbours. We were in London last week for a few days and went to a garden centre where a new variety of clematis was for sale – clematis avalanche. We saw it in two different garden centres but decided not to buy in case it got damaged in the case. This new variety, is, like armandii white, everygreen but its leave is smaller and looks like an oak leaf. There is a spot in the garden which would be perfect for it. So decided to check on the internet and were pleased to find a nursery in Italy that is selling it. Ordered it – 23 euros including postage. This morning went to our local “garden centre” il cortile – sells animal food, vases, compost and lots of vegetable plants as gardening here is vegetable oriented. There are also a few shrubs. In the midst of the few shrubs was Clematis avalanche – 17 euros.