Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall in Montisi ~ Yes!!  The new oil is flowing - sharp and rich.  The white truffles are abundant this year and the festival in San Giovanni was active last weekend with soft fall weather and dramatic skies. 

For those of you who visited this year, the red flowers at the bottom of this photo are the pineapple sage - which is now over 5' tall!!!

Miss Fussbudget - aka Neve - is glad to be able to resume her honored position in her chair -

The new lounge chairs await a few minutes in the fall sun....

...and a little music in the boom box in the tettoio....

and the last of the cool, sunny lunches on the terrace.
In the late summer, into fall, the begonias, and see the fragrant gardenias? I've also added gardenias for those last summer nights.  The fragrance was wonderful.  Now it is almost time to tuck them into the winter greenhouse!!!  We found that they are even more fragrant in the evenings, while we were eating outside.  Lovely!!!

And impatiens brighten the corners, almost over, now that it's colder..... 
This year we finally put up some of the waiting antique botanicals.... illustration of asparagus, for those of us who await the appearance, next spring of the wild asparagus.  I am determined to go out the find my own this time!!!  It's hanging by the grill.
Then a few significant flowers for the house - the agapanthus that refuses to grow, so far...but one of my favorites.

I'm beginning to collect botanicals of the wild orchids you will find growing in the fields and woods around the house....

And finally, a rare, large format belladonna.  I loved the texture of the original folds from the folio where it was published, so I asked Heather, who did the matting (Mercer Island Cascade Frames - great framer!!), to add 2 spacer sheets to preserve the folds and give it depth.

and for those who love watching the barn swallows drinking, on wing, from the pool or the little fledglings, tipsy as they grip the bars of the pergola over the living room door, getting flying lessons from their parents - I found an antique print showing these gorgeous birds at rest.


So, all of these are now hung to continue to tell the story of the house and the garden.
Speaking of the garden, this fall I am redrawing the garden plan and noting the most successful plantings and sequences.  We'll be giving it a try - making successive plantings of the veg so we have a nice, long season for the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and lettuces.  The tomatoes this last year were the best we've ever had.  Also this next year more aromatics and of course, Ivo's new invention - a HUGE terra cotta pot of ever-bearing strawberries. 
And finally, my little 'souvenir' plant - plantlets collected from Villefranche sur Mer - is blooming and putting out new plants.  Clearly there is a good connection between our two little nirvana villages.  I think of Villefranche each time I look at this pretty spider plant.  Okay, show of hands, who had a spider plant while in college....????  Macramé hanger?
So, that's all for today, Monday.  I'll have a surprise, I think, later today.  Stay tuned.
So, here's the surprise - it arrived a bit earlier than even I had hoped....
Friends - Meet Atlas!!!

He is a figure from a spettacolo.  Read on -

Hieronymus Carl Friedrich von Münchhausen; 11 May 1720 – 22 February 1797) was a German nobleman and a famous recounter of tall tales. He joined the Russian military and took part in two campaigns against the Ottoman Turks. Upon returning home, Münchhausen is said to have told a number of outrageously farfetched stories about his adventures.  Münchhausen's reputation as a storyteller has been exaggerated by writers, giving birth to a fully fictionalized literary character usually called simply Baron Munchausen.    Several years ago, Francesco Trecci, a local sculptor and professional writer and producer of marionette  plays, “spettacoli,”  wrote a play “The Baron” based upon these famous tales.  Villa Maddalena is now home to “Atlas” from this collection of performance figures.  And temporarily the location of the accompanying fully animated “Horse”, through the middle of January.  (Take note Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years friends!!)   Photos to follow of "Horse."

In Atlas, I'm very excited to have such a dynamic figure that moves with the air currents and with changing lighting takes on a wide variety of shadow patterns.  The Horse figure has two personalities - his 'front' is painted and carved and ornamented.  The other side of the figure reveals all the 'works' that allow his hooves to move and the figure to operate.  He is mounted on a rolling dolly because he was pulled onto the stage, with his legs galloping.  A truly engaging sculpture now and a fanciful performance figure in his day.

All for now!!!


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