There is a different and much friendlier sort of fire in my garden at present: flowers are blooming, roses are unpetalling, vegetables are presenting acceptable salad dishes, honeysuckle, jasmine and wisteria are competing for wall space and the black Hamburg vine, only planted last year, is smothering the facades in luxurious foliage and promising grapes.
The mixture of hot sunshine and light showers, which is slightly unusual for this part of the year (normally there is far less rain and the Italian summer is traditionally said to end with the first thunderstorm around Ferragosto – August 15th), is working wonders on plants which have been starved of accustomed warmth well into June (when the Apennine ridges were still covered in snow….).
Breakfast can be comfortably taken on one of our terraces, the sun umbrella must be opened for any afternoon siesta, the animals are flaked out in various postures on our lawn and in the evening the mosquitoes do their worse and the cicadas their best.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, so I won’t ramble on further except to present you with the evidence: