It is springtime in Tuscany and all you need is a drop of sun and the roses are in bloom everywhere! It almost seems that roses are as proficuo as weeds in some areas. It is in my nature to be generally super curious and I will find myself asking tons of questions when I find a reliable source and then I tuck these pieces of info into my brain. I found most of my American friends and family, when they come to visit, indulge me and listen to these stories and facts – many of them are probably wondering how it is I can remember all of these curiousities but I had the hardest time remembering how to do algerbra or spell anything with more than two vowels in it. And I am about to share with you one of these interesting little facts.
As it turns out both Tuscan vineyards and I share a common like : Roses. Anyone who has visited Tuscany might have noticed that at the beginning of each row in the vineyards there can occassionally be found a rose bush. This is especially true for the older vineyards – like those located around my house. Some might have thought that is was a gesture of beauty, but I can assure you that the Tuscan farmer has no time for adding a bit of beauty when it comes to something as serious as his veggie garden or vineyard.
When I first started gardening in Tuscany, planted flowers all a long my fence. I was continuously under the scrutiny of my neighbors – the older they were the more curious as to what the American girl was up too. Bruno, as old as they get and with a face that never cracked a smile, shook his head and gave me a look bordering on disgust he said: “boh, fiori?” Of course, don’t they look good?. “boh (a Tuscan way of saying I don’t know) non si può mangiare fiori” – you can’t eat those flowers so, I was just wasting my time.
But not all flower are a waste of time, for example fried fiori di zucca (fried zucchini flowers – need I say more?) and roses. Yes, back on the topic at hand. Apparently roses were traditionally planted at the end of the rows in vineyards because they are delicate – more so than the vines. In this way, if the flowers or the bushes started to show signs of bugs or diease the farmer would be alerted before the problem could attach the vineyards. The rose bush above is one of my favorites, nestled underneath a olive tree pushes out blooms from May to November non stop – and not scrawny blossoms but long stem red roses!
Not all roses are found in or around the vineyards, like this silver plated Nomination bracelet with a rose motif, this one can be found on line at Pierotucci.com And let’s just say that the younger generation of Italians are just as fond of planting flowers and roses as they are of planting tomatoes and zucchini plants.
This bush with is spectacular yellow and pink blossoms stands taller than me! I love the idea of it protecting all of these vineyards. Of course today – it is more for show than utility because there are lots of other ways to keep an eye on the health of a vineyard. However, I love it that some farmers still go out of their way to protect these reminants of cultural history.
This pole actually has two different kinds of roses – one is what I would call a wild rose – that the white one crawling up high. Then there is the romantic white and pink rose – similar to this pink gold rose and silver bracelet from the ROSES collection from Nomination.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures I took of the vineyard and roses surrounding my home in Tuscany.