Friday, May 28, 2010

Other people's gardens

When away from my garden for a bit, I exaggerate what must be happening. All the crops must be ripe, the weeds taking over, time going by. I assuage my garden-missing by peeking into other folks' vegetable patches. Do they do things the same way? Are their tomatoes bigger than mine?

I noticed that at least one other person likes pretty lettuces, and sitting in the garden. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any closer, nor could I ask anyone much about what they were growing or if they had trouble with pests. I couldn't do much of anything I take for granted. Why not?

Here's some hints:
Hmm. Narrow streets, open-air markets, and . . .

Streetside cafes. It could be San Francisco.

It's not, though.

Eric and I just spent a week in Genoa, partly for a work conference for him, and partly for fun. I had most of the fun. Unfortunately, my Italian isn't really up snuff, so I was a genial but confused tourist much of the time.

The highlight of the trip, though, may have been a train trip down the Italian Riviera to visit another garden. Heiko and Susan picked us up in La Spezia and took us to visit their village and their land.

We were, I'm afraid, neither dressed for nor in shape for following them (and Eddie the adorable puppy) up and down their streets and lanes. I'd have loved to have spent more time with their neighbors, although seeing Mario's (I think it was Mario's) baby donkey and wild cinghiale was pretty terrific.

The village looks pretty from a distance:
Heiko made a lovely lunch for us from beans Susan had picked while he and I bounded up and down the terraces, talking and looking at the garden together. I think Eric was bemused at the amount of verbiage Heiko and I could produce, but he certainly liked the food.

We talked a tiny bit about the power of the internet to bring like-minded people together, virtually as well as literally, in this case. Gardening is intensely pleasurable to me, but connections such as this are the icing on the cake.


suzee said...


Just, wow.

(My word verification, btw, is "WOWWO," so Blogger is amazed, too.)

Ribbit said...

Very cool to meet up like that. How nice!

Esperanza said...

I'm not jealous. No I'm not.

Mr. H. said...

Wow, you really get around. There you are sitting in Heiko's living fun. What a great trip you must be having.

Stefaneener said...

Hey, Suzee. See what happens when you don't talk to me ever?

Ribbit, it was a treat.

Esperanza, of course you're not. You have so much going on.

Mr. H., I'm not sure I like the description of me "getting around." I think you and Heiko should definitely spend some face to face time together. You could out-fitness each other.

Christina said...

What a great experience. Like you, I'm blown away by what blogging has done for me. I'm made real friends the world over, and it is a very happy addition to my life. I'm glad you've found the same. What fun to be able to see Heiko's garden!

Heiko said...

It was Piero with the wild boar and donkeys. Come again any time!

chaiselongue said...

Sounds like a great trip and it's good to meet other bloggers and see their gardens!

kitsapFG said...

What an adventure and what fun to spend time in person with Heiko! I love meeting online friends in real life. Thanks for letting us cyber travel with you. Next time take us all along for real okay?!

Jan said...

How fab! I love to see other peoples gardens, and to see a garden that you sort of 'know' from the internet... wow!

Kristin said...

Oh you are both so lucky--on my dime!

Great photo of you and your hubby.

Ron McDonald said...

Wow! what fun!
I hope to travel to Saint Angelo de Brolo, Sicily in a few years to see where my Grand parents lived. Maybe I can meet some gardeners online first and then visit their gardens.

Kate said...

How wonderful to visit Heiko and Susan!One day....

Stefaneener said...

Christina, isn't it wonderful? It makes a big world feel much, much smaller.

Heiko, of course it was. Mario is music. We had such fun.

Chaiselongue, I'm such a garden tourist. I could look at vegetables all day long.

KitsapFG, I could easily see a meeting. Are you free for Italy this fall?

Jan, it was so different being there in person, of course. But yes, like meeting a friend you've only exchanged letters with.

Kristin, yes, we are!

Ronald, guess what? I'm currently starting some letters to my existing family in Santo Stefano and Agrigento in Sicily. I'd like to meet them.

Kate, yes, it's that important, I think. I want my kids to feel as though the world is open to them.

Heiko said...

Mauro was the musician, but closer this time ;)