Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fiori di Primavera (Flowers of Springtime)

  I haven't had a chance to write here in a very long time. 

  Between trying to get back into life at home here, catching up at work in the gallery, and a major family emergency, it's been tough to find the time or brain power to think straight enough to post anything.

  This being said, I've decided the very best thing I can do for my stressed out little pea brain is to take a little break and head back to Umbria for a spell. 
  At least through photos. A bunch of photos. Be warned, friends…

  I'm setting my "Way Back Machine" to March, April and May, 2014, if that's ok with you. 

  Springtime in Umbria means flowers….lots and lots of flowers...


I couldn't get over this amazing display.
Clematis Armandii in white & pink…very fragrant, too.

I see the white variety all the time, but the pink was a treat...

What a perfect spot for these very aggressive climbers!

 On our morning walks, I come across so many great little flower "vignettes". I try to have my little camera at all times, just in case there is something extra gorgeous…..

Wild violets that are so sweet. Here they just make a home in the walls.

Flowering quince are all over the place, but mostly in people's gardens.

We don't have forsythia in our neck of the woods,
so what luck to see them here in all their glory...

Yellow against the blue sky is perfection...

Seriously huge magnolia tree.
Another fragrance bomb.

Wild rose "hips" all around the hills near Panicale..

  There are some really great gardens that I try to get sneak-peaks of. It's nice that most places don't have fences, so you get a chance to take a closer look, get a good shot…
  This stone house, below, is one of my favorites. It was great watching spring happen in the garden here. This is near Panicale, along one of our usual routes for walking.

Lilacs do so well here. Sigh…I can't grow them at all where we live.
I love the color against the stone of the house.

Just down the road from the place in the photo above.
Another favorite garden, I like this pink and grey-green combo.

More lilacs, different area.

This little field between Panicale and Paciano changes so much
during our visits. This is perfection, to me. White with so many shades of green.

 We are always so surprised when the valley below Panicale fills with fog. Here, on the California coast, we're used to it. The few times we saw fog in Umbria, it was early in the morning, and it cleared out pretty fast. I kept waiting to hear seals or sea gulls….

  The real reason for this photo is the nice batch of white bearded iris. This is up at the old cemetery, near a favorite bench. There are lots of patches of purple iris around these hills, but this white group was a surprise.

A little magic above the fog line...


We took a ride out into an area about forty minutes away from Panicale to visit a couple of tiny hill towns that had been recommended to us by friends. It's always an adventure to drive down an untried "white road", but we were so glad we did. This little gem was worth it…
 I'm not telling where. It's a secret.

Orange calendula with some nice little flowering succulents. A great combination,
especially spilling over this stone wall.

Color and texture galore!


There are lots of wildflowers, of course.
  Some would say weeds…. but it's a pretty fine line between the two, and who gets to decide, anyway?

A fantastic patch of wild euphorbia, with a renegade white tulip popping through.

Wild red poppies duking it out with "wild" sweet peas.
I like it.

I'm thinking these may not be wild…maybe a cover crop for some
added nitrogen…I saw them in the fields often this year.

"Morning walk" wild flowers, with a field stone I would love in my garden.
It could happen….

  I've done blogposts on the lovely wisteria before, and I just can't help myself…..I am a moth to the flame when it comes to wisteria.
  My favorite is right in Panicale. What's not to love about this gorgeousness, eh?

Purple & white deeeeeee-light.

In Deruta, next to the wonderful art supply store.
Very dreamy...

Just below our apartment. I loved watching these two battle it out.
Wisteria and a yellow banksia rose in full flush.

  All over the hills, I'll see where the wild clematis vines are starting to peek out. Either the new growth, or the finished seed heads left from the fall and winter. I never see them blooming, though. We leave too soon. I guess they are the very simple, small flowered white ones.
  What a mind blowing, stop short and back-up-the-car moment here. I had to take several photos of this one.


I've only seen these in gardening magazines, really.
This vine is in Pietrafitta, a nearby town.


  On yet another outing, as always looking for painting inspiration, we came upon this field of poppies. 
  This is another one of those "are you kidding me?" sort of moments. 
  They happen a lot.

All together, now….
"Are you kidding me?"  Good job, people!

That's what I'm talkin' about...

 I know it's a cliche….but I still like it.

  We took the train down to Orvieto one day, which is sweet because it's only a short trip by train, and you don't need to deal with parking or driving after a nice lunch with wine… Super easy.
  We love Orvieto. It's big enough to go back to over and over, there are lots of places to stop for a bite or sip, and the Duomo is always a sight to behold. Plus, there is a great farmer's market, not to be missed.

  After a nice lunch at a favorite spot, we took a long stroll into the outer edges of this wonderful hill town. It must have been later in the trip, because there were beautiful roses blooming everywhere.
  I especially enjoyed the old rambling roses marching up, and cascading down the old walls….


Can I have this entire scene in my garden, please? Thank you.

A perfect color/texture thing going on here.

  I feel better, having escaped the world for couple of hours…it takes me a long time to do these posts, and I can get totally lost in them while I am working. It's good.

  The last couple of pictures are for my Mom.

A caper plant growing out of the wall in Panicale.
My Mom has tried soooo hard to grow her own capers…sadly they tend to poop out.
I guess these tough plants need their own special place.

The teeniest, tiniest Forget-Me-Nots in the whole world.
Just because this blue color reminds me of your eyes, Mom.

  I plan to keep on top of posting more often now…I have lots of photos, including Gnomes, Mirror Shots and loads of tasty food to write about.

  Forgive me if I seem to be missing in action….I sort of am.
  Family emergencies are quite the game changer.

  I just wish I really had a "Way Back Machine".