It was a hot spring day in Umbria but in the shade of the stone walled porch of the villa at the house of our hostess Daniela it was very comfortable. James and I had a invitation, along with our friends Elida and Gunter, for Sunday lunch and a garden tour at
the home of Daniela Fe d'Ostiani, a renowned gardener and rosarian.
We were greeted by Daniela and followed her along a path to a garden in the shade of her villa and a few large trees where bottles of chilled process were uncorked. As we have discovered , and happily so, many Italian festas begin with glasses of prosecco and exchanges of "Salute"!
Sunday lunch is Italy is a big deal. Daniela had prepared a feast that began with a pasta course of asparagus lasagna followed by a roast pork with a side of incredibly good beans from her garden. The next course was a salad of greens and vegetables from the garden. She had been up early harvesting in order to present such a delicious meal. Elida brought a creme caramel for dessert that was a sweet treat and perfect ending to lunch...oh, and I cannot forget the cookies, an American favorite, chocolate chip cookies! And throughout the meal a local wine was served.
A couple of hours had passed with a great lunch and conversations in both English and Italian between the eleven of us at the table.
Time for the tour of the garden..........
Daniela is a powerhouse, full of wild energy! She is a rosarian and a plant collector and her garden is not like the typical Italian garden most of us imagine. her garden is like her personality, a little wild, energetic and lovely all wrapped into one. Pushing the garden envelope!
The garden is sited on a hillside in Casalini ( outside of Panicale) with views of Lake Trasimeno.
The views of the lake are revealed in a few of the gardens, other gardens are reached by paths in near jungle like setting with roses stretching and climbing into tree tops!
The textures are of great importance here and are stunning.
This apricot rose spiraled its way up through this tree, using the tree as a trellis showing off it's buds and flowers proudly. It is with great abandon that these roses grow, not at all formal in design.
The selection of foliage is remarkable with surprises around every corner. A gate leads into a garden of dahlias ( not in bloom) and another path takes us to a vegetable garden, where much of our lunch was grown.
There is one 'garden room' that is defined by a hedge, making it more formal in feel. The backdrop is a view of Lake Trasimeno and Isola Polvese.
The trees frame the view of Isola Polvese.
There is much to see here, but it is the roses that I was so interested in. There are roses everywhere, never in a straight neat row, you must look for them and stay close to Daniela so she can point them out. She knows each and every rose in her garden.
This rose is a beauty.....well, I guess it is fair to say they all are.
A very good Sunday.
Grazie Mille Daniela!
( and Elida & Gunter for the introduction)