90 minutes driving to buy a sage plant.

vivaio burrone
Some days ago we took advantage of  dry day to drive across to Norcera Umbra in Umbria to visit the a Gran Burrone Nursery (view from the nursery above). We went with Pam from Tavernelle along with their Dutch neighbours Debbie and Jack (all keen plant collectors). We had bought a plant from this nursery at a garden festival some months before and as they specialised in aromatic plants we had said “Oh, we should try and go to see it”.
vivaio burrone
Norcera Umbra is up in the Apenines and unfortunately is famous as the town that was most badly damaged in the 1997 earthquake when Assisi was also badly damaged. Finding Nocera Umbra was easy but without the TomTom it would have been  impossible to find the nursery as it was some kilometres outside the town and driving down the steep, gravel, mud and badly rutted road made me wonder if we would be able to get out once we had got in.

The nursery was in a stunning setting but looked slightly ramshackle. However, the place didn’t disappoint as the owners were really knowledgeable and were happy to walk round with us talking about their plants which were mostly lavenders, sages and cistus. Needless to say we bought a few plants on the basis that if they can survive the hot summers and cold winters of Norcera Umbra then the plants won’t have a problem in San Giorgio or Tavernelle.

For lunch we went to the a trattoria called the “Vecchia Flamminia” in Nocera Umbra. It was recommended by the people in the nursery but as we looked like sophisticated diners they warned us that it was a simple place but serving good food. And so it was. The Italian equivalent of a working mens cafe. However, bacon and eggs were not on the menu. Instead we had first courses of lasagne, and canneloni made with meat wrapped in cabbage leaves and baked in a cheese sauce. For the second course we had turkey with lemon, turkey breast stuffed with spinach, stuffed peppers, fried fish. All this plus a bottle of wine, water and cheerful service came to 8 euros each.

The sages, cistus and lavenders we bought are now in the slopes of “Dingly Dell” ready in the coming year to add colour, smell and more importantly stopping the soil from slipping.  

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