The quiet growth of winter

Did you see the blue moon, recently? It cast an eerie yet reassuring glow. We kept the curtains open all night to see the silver light – waking at times to gaze out into the calm night. The frosts here have returned and the stillness of winter is ever present. The silver theme continues. WIN_20150719_085346WIN_20150719_085413 Over the past two weekends I have re-potted, replanted and generally swept up after the big winds, a few days ago. I have selected some new plantings for the vegetable garden – sadly no vegetables only flowering plants, at this stage. Colour is what I want now. The beans and garlic will have to wait and make way for violas. WIN_20150722_145745WIN_20150722_145803 However, despite its frosts and distilled light, I am always happy with winter. The quiet and secret growth of winter and its calming stillness allows me to wander and appreciate this invigorating season. Tulips are growing and daffodils and jonquils will follow, despite the frost and snow flurries. WIN_20150719_085506 WIN_20150719_085334 “It snowed all week. Wheels and footsteps moved soundlessly on the streets as if the business of living continued secretly behind a pale but impenetrable curtain. “Truman Capote So, I continue, gloves and hats at the ready and happy for days of stillness and quiet. Enjoy your seasons, where ever you may be.

Spring or Autumn Take #2

After visiting the Melbourne International Garden Show, I am again confused . Are we in autumn? Then these wonderful tulips belong to the Northern Hemisphere not Down Under. e

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This interesting contraption from fifty years ago sorts the bare bulbs into sizes. What intrigues me are the fantastic displays which are often not seasonal and brought here from thousands if miles – was this also the way in the 1960’s or were the seasons recognizable ?

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Thank goodness we finally found some maples turning to mellow yellow.

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More special arrangements to come later – stay posted! Hopefully they will be seasonal too.

Liebster Award Nominations

Although I have only been blogging since September, I have found it one of the most rewarding outlets for my writing and thoughts on gardening, travel, pets and the every day happenings of life. So it was with much amazement that our blog has been nominated for the Liebster Award. As a newcomer, I have been buoyed by the feedback and kind words of my regular followers and visitors. My nominator was Nitty Gritty Dirt Man, whose blog I follow from the other side of the world, and one which never ceases to inspire with its heartfelt, entertaining and socially aware commentary – danke schoen to you Kevin!

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School in Trento

For three days our group spent a delightful time in Trento. Located in the Trentino Alto Adige northern region of Italy, Trento is skirted by the majestic Dolomites. For Church history buffs, Trento or Trent in English, is also home of the Council of Trent which saw the Church’s Bishops come together to address social impacts and reforms in 1545, especially rising Protestantism.Trento had a strong Roman influence and its Roman name, Tridentum, depicted of course by Neptune, is a strong symbol for the town.

Our main aim in Trento was to attend school. Our sister school adjoins the building which hosted the Council of Trent. The group attended classes as part of a gemellaggio or sister school reciprocal visit. We, as teachers, also went to class – Latin and Ancient Greek at 7:45am which was extremely stimulating and very enlightening. All enjoyed the hospitality and genuine good humor of the Profs. We were even more privileged to have met the dirigente and be invited into her magnificent office for coffee. Later she joined our group for a farewell dinner. The young members of our group responded to her very positively and engaged in much polite conversation in Italian!

While meeting with the dirigente we viewed the school’s remarkable collection of ancient manuscripts. A volume of Petrach’s poetry dated 1554 was exhibited before us in all its delicate and ancient state. The text was completely in tact and quite robust for its age. It was quite amazing to be touching this manuscript which was as old as the discovery of the Americas. It was gently returned to its grand 1812 bookcase!

Trento is a Medieval town, of course. One of the highlights is the Castello del Buonconsiglio. A magnificent fortified castle built in the 13th century and later extended to include a palazzo in 1530. The castle was the defense of the town which stood on the main road linking Italy to northern Europe. It is the repository for many religious icons and works of art as well as housing an extensive exhibition of Medieval Knights. However, it was the Aquila Tower and its wondrous depiction of the twelve months of the year (March is missing) which really impacted on me. These charming frescoes were painted in the 14 century and depict the cycle of the seasons. Today they remain a wonderful and romantic depiction of life in the Middle Ages under the feudal system. A definite must see if you are in Trento!

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