REMEMBER...

LIFE IS A GARDEN; ENJOY THE STROLL.

October 17, 2017

DOLOMITE-Y IMPRESSIVE

The delightful October temperatures where I visited Italy were identical to that of my hometown.  No guessing games with packing, and no adjustments my body had to make in order to be comfortable.  To clarify, I'm speaking in fahrenheit dialect.  I left New York's temperatures of the upper 60s to low 70s, and was granted the same throughout my stay.  The exception was the Dolomites, in the northernmost region of Italy, where which we were greeted with temperatures in the mid 50s.  Not bad, nothing that a turtleneck, light wool jacket and a pair of gloves couldn't provide one comfort with.

On our way up to the Dolomites, we first stopped at a little gem of a restaurant, Tobia De Cuck.  Talk about pure, home cooked deliciousness.  Monica, the restaurant owner, and her daughter were front of house, and welcomed us warmly.  The hearty vegetable soup was to die for.  And, if you, like me, thought you never did care for apple strudel, Monica's strudel would change your mind.  Really.

Not long after, we arrived at Moserhof, our two night bed and breakfast destination, where I fell in love with the decorative touches of red gingham pattern fabric.  Perhaps it was the rich quality and thread count of the fabric, yet with the humble look and comfort of one's grandmother's well cared for linens that stole my heart.  I failed to ask my "photographer" to capture some photos of the fabric; however, you can get a glimpse of it by visiting the inn's website.  An early morning stroll around the grounds gifted me an earful of clucking chickens and mooing cows from the barn located below the inn.

Now, aren't the Dolomites and Lake Braies(or Prags if you speak German) impressive?  I think so.  Dolomite-y impressive.









The following day we tooled around a bit more, taking advantage of access to some moderate impact hiking areas.


And, though not on our itinerary, Austria was just a stone's throw away; we crossed the "border" just for amusement's sake.

Allora........ stay tuned for a most well planned Tuscan experience and where I laid my head to rest for four fabulous nights.

Ciao!

October 16, 2017

ALLORA........

Allora....... a simple, yet fully loaded Italian expression, that means everything and nothing at the same time.  In English, it may translate as so....., well, then....., okay....., here we go......, now.......  It may also simply translate as that little thoughtful pause or inhale one takes before saying something.

How do I know?  Because I just recently visited Italy!!!!!
I will be breaking down the sightseeing of my trip in two or three posts, and please note that all Italy photos are property and courtesy of
Bandito & Co.
As much as I enjoy photography, I was blessed and spoiled silly with a hands-free and care-free adventure.  Well, almost hands-free; I certainly did do some shopping.

Allora....... let's start at the beginning, at a private residence in Rovereto, where I initially plopped myself and my luggage down after an eight hour flight and a three hour drive from the airport.
I was instantly smitten with this family compound, and settled in as if I had belonged there.  Who wouldn't want to start their morning with coffee on a balcony overlooking a beautiful vista and koi pond?
The interior walls were bathed in saturated hues that made me drool with delight.  And, as for bathroom tiles and fixtures...... I admit, I do have a fetish for ones such as these.
Couldn't you just imagine Mozart possibly having performed in concert on the grounds here?  If you agree, then you would be correct - because he did.


Allora........ I'm going to stop here for now.  The Dolomites, Lake Braies and how I fell in love with red gingham fabric and apple strudel will be next, so do check back soon!

July 16, 2017

NEVER MIND THE ROOSTER.....

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the year of the Rooster, though I really think it's the year of the Hydrangea.  And moles/voles.... but, we won't go there.

Perhaps it's the generous rainfall the north east received this past spring that has something to do with it, I can't be sure, but they certainly are showing off everywhere I look.  It's absolutely delightful!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Do you know what else delights me?  I've got beets!  Yes, I've finally had some success growing beets, which hasn't been the case in years past.  They are one of my most favorite vegetables, and simply plucking them from the garden is such a treat.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
They're great roasted in a drizzling of olive oil, salt and pepper, along with onions and sweet potatoes.  Don't forget to throw a few sprigs of sage into the roasting pan, too.  Even better, just peel and shred the beets, dump them into a bowl and toss with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and some sliced onions.  That "farm to table" movement is all well and good, but there's usually a lot of cooking, canning or freezing involved, and I don't have the ambition or patience for that.  My movement is "farm to mouth."

The bumble bees are loving the leek flowers, as are a slew of other magnificent winged insects.  It's truly a collaborative effort with regard to pollination.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
I'm drawn to leek flowers, too, though not for pollinating purposes.  I'm attracted to them for beautification purposes, and added a few to this arrangement made up mostly of herbs.  Cutting flowers and making a little bouquet for yourself in the early morning is one of life's sweet and simple pleasures.  Do it!  Give yourself that gift, even if it's just a tiny bud vase with one single flower in it, which is perfect for placing near your kitchen sink.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Now, do enjoy this lovely day!

July 10, 2017

MY, WHAT FASCINATING PESTS....

Devoting the weekend to yard work was both, blissful and tiring, and many tasks were accomplished. I was just about wrapping things up late Sunday afternoon, when I spotted this little creature hanging out at the entrance to my vegetable garden - a hawk moth.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
A quite striking specimen, no?  Well... striking, interesting and quite lovely as she may be, she's also the egg layer of the tomato horn worm.  And, you know what that means.  Your prized tomato plants will be eaten while your back turned, by a green, horned and quite grotesque looking finger-sized monster.  But, I hadn't encountered any green monster worms while tying up my tomato plants earlier in the day.

I took a closer look, and lo and behold, I found tomato horn worm eggs.  My, oh, my, are they tiny! They're roughly 1/16" in diameter; I removed ten of them from my four tomato plants.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
And, look what I also found... baby tomato horn worms!  They were just barely 1/4" in length with a horn almost as long as their body.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Though I don't like plant destructing pests in my garden, I found the afternoon's experience quite fascinating.

Last year many of my pumpkin/squash plants had succumb to the squash borer (another pesky garden pest).  This season I'm just sticking to squash species that the borer tends to ignore - butternut squash and Long Island cheese pumpkin.  I got the cheese pumpkin seeds at a seed swap back in February, and pictured below is one of the plants.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Two years ago I acquired three little 'Pixie' grape plants.  And, yes, I do mean little.  The plants obtain a height of only 18-24" at maturity, and they do not produce twining tendrils like standard size grape vines do.  Do you see the little grape cluster?  Adorable.  There are two other clusters on this plant (which is only 12" tall!) hidden behind the leaves.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Did you ever sow seeds, forget to label them, and then find yourself unable to identify the seedlings? Well, something similar happened to me with the plant pictured below.  Back at the seed swap in February, which was the first time I ever attended one, I failed to bring ziplock baggies.  Lesson learned! Some folks offers seeds in envelopes, and, well, many seeds found their way out of the envelopes and ended up..... in the bottom of my purse.  I knew these particular seeds were bean seeds, but I had more than one variety in my possession, and they were all mixed up..... in the bottom of my purse.  As it turns out, I'm growing heirloom Oregon Giant pole beans!  I did some research on them..... looks like I'm going to need a much, much taller trellis :D
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
And, last, but not least.... the art of shell gardening.  It's pest-free, maintenance-free and doesn't break your back!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Well, that's all for now.

Enjoy this beautiful summer day!