Early spring blossoms

I’ve been fortunate to enjoy some lively blooms on my terrace recently.  Four large containers hold these Tuscan succulents, which are attractive all year long.


I am calling this pretty, hardworking plant an “Easter cactus” since, like the succulent known as the “Christmas cactus” blooms around December 25 each year, this hardy plant blooms each spring.



So pretty!  It grows both upright and with suspended trails of stems, leaves and blossoms.





Gucci gucci garden

The Gucci Museum recently reopened after renovation.  The restaurant is beautiful and impossible to reserve a table in.  Gucci advertised the new installation as a garden and, silly me, I thought that meant an outdoor space with soil and plants.  It’s possible, there could be a courtyard.

But, no, it’s not an actual garden.  I guess it’s a paper garden.  Anyway here it is:




Horticulture in Florence

It seems like in every season, something wonderful is in bloom in Italy.  Right now it is mimosa.




Also beginning to bloom are the camellias



I walked down a wide avenue in western Florence yesterday, where I noticed a long line of street trees that have been severely pruned in the Pollarding method, a pruning system involving the cutting of long branches of a tree, done to promotes a dense head of foliage and branches.



Pollarded trees look brutal against gray winter skies.



Tuscany in flowers

I love camellias.  They are my favorite flower along with peonies, penstemen, roses, lily-of-the-valley, violets, marigolds, lilac, viburnum, geranium, anything vining and specifically wisteria, iris, carnations, pinks….I could go on and on.


But, my all-time favorite is the camellia.  Look whats happening in Tuscany this spring!

Persimmons in Arezzo

I love a pretty garden, even in the winter.  I was in Arezzo recently and paid a visit to the Vasari Casa museum.  If you know Vasari’s monumental book on Italian artists (the first of its kind, published in the 16th century), you know how important he is for more or less beginning the field of art history.  As such, he is sort of my patron saint, with lower case letters.


So I was delighted to visit Vasari’s home in Arezzo, and ponder how it was his refuge from the busy life he led in Florence. But, as often happens for me, while I found his modest palazzo to be interesting for it’s structure and fresco decorations (much of it Vasari himself), it was the garden that drew me like a magnet.

And in his garden I spied this beautiful, ancient persimmon tree.  I love how the tree looks without any leaves: only brown bark, branches, and the fruit that look like Christmas decorations.