Q is for Quercus ilex tunnels

Seen here at Villa Cetinale, near Siena.  The evergreen oak can be oppressive in its matt evergreen livery.  In the hot high light of the south the long tunnels make a cool refuge from the sharp sun.  The shadows fissure, spangle and dance.

O is for Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf is the maestro of perennial planting.    Aged 71 but he is still working – both designing and teaching.  He continues to innovate and  bring in change – there is nothing static about his plant palette.  The photo below is his garden.  The fantastic white spires are of   Actaea Queen of Sheba.

Genius loci

If you were ever wondering what that is, read this and you will understand: It is too long  since a post went up on this blog so here is a poem in small essay form.   Largely in the words of Marco Martelli, artist,  from Venice Biennale last year. The Romans believed that every  space…

Aspirational corner: mainly things I want but have no room for Mark 4

Perhaps I am getting steadily more greedy.  Time, on the other hand, could be galloping faster and faster like a runaway bull.  The long and short of it is that this time I am posting four things I want in my virtual and infinite Aspirational Corner.    First, tunnels of evergreen oak, Quercus ilex as…

Close up and personal at Castello di Celsa

Here is a a quick photo-study of Celsa – a castle and grounds near Siena, Italy.  I visited earlier this year.  If you want to do the same,   check their website www.castellodicelsa.com to make an appointment.  Should  anyone get to the 5th image, I would love to know what that flashy butterfly is called….

The hen and rooster Miracle

Santo Domingo de la Calzado had a hard time of it.  He applied to become a monk but two holy orders  turned him down.  Instead  he became a hermit and devoted himself to helping pilgrims on the way to Santiago.  The original causeway over the rocky torrents of the Oja river was built by him. …