Monday, April 26, 2010

Call it what it is!

In Italian there are two words for garden. There is giardino, which is (usually) a fenced in space in which one relaxes amidst flowers and fruit trees with friends and family, food and wine (usually). An orto is the place where you grow your vegetables. An orto is an orto and a giardino is a giardino - different functions, different crops, different things.

A giardino is also usually attached to your house and an orto is in campagna (in the country). Most people around here live in villages and keep a campagna. Our house was some one's campagna before it was our house (technically it was 14 people's campagna since that's how many people we had to buy it from, but that's a story for a different post...). A campagna is actually an Italian man's clubhouse. The men keep the campagna. There's usually some kind of house structure on some land that they plant, some stalls for keeping animals, and a fridge for beer. Usually there is also a couch of some sort for naps.

Here is Campagna Cornwell, before it became Giardino Cornwell

We added the table. The previous owners used this space for storing things like...

discarded appliances, empty tomato sauce jars, and brother-in-laws...oh wait, no, we brought him with us.

Anyway, at lunch with pals Augusto and Lina the other day in a discussion about planting my veggies this year I was asked, rather directly, "do you HAVE land?"

L: "well, of course we have land. You know we have land. Why?"
A: "then why are you planting onions in your giardino where your dogs will piss on them?"
L: "ummm..."

That Augusto, he sure can make a point.

Week 3's 20/20 house project: the giardino.

(are you guys getting sick of seeing that shot yet? I gotta get better photos, or at least stand in a different spot every once and a while. Sorry about that)

Since we moved in we've called this patio space our outdoor living room since that's how we use it 3 seasons of the year. We sit out here to relax, and be with friends and family, and to share wine and food. It's a giardino for God's sake! This year I'll treat it as such and plant accordingly. The onions and zucchini, melanzane and tomatoes - they're going in the orto! Which I guess will be Project 20/20's week 4 endeavour.

This week's knitting project is: a scarf. I know, I know. You've all heard me rant about how I hate knitting scarves. But this one is fun. I was looking through my trusty and well-loved Weekend Knitting book for inspiration when I saw this...

There is no pattern for it in the book because, well, it doesn't need a freakin' pattern. It's just a random collection of yarns, colors, and stitches knit into a long, straight piece of fabric...that can be wrapped around one's neck, like a scarf. I'm hoping to make it this long...

And yes, I do plan to don it whilst riding my bike along the seaside. Fantastic. I think I'll look just smashing! 'Specially when it gets tangled in the spokes.


  1. Your posts are so darling. What a wonderful smile for the day. :) The garden/patio/outdoor room/growing space/entertaining spot/dining room/recreation room looks beautiful, whatever you call it! :))

    The scarf looks like lots of fun, too. You surely won't get bored while changing the pattern and yarn every few rows.


  2. I never get tired of that shot of the patio, american terminolgy. How about some nice pots around it full of flowers that grow so well in that part of the world. Maybe big pots so the dogs can't lift their leg high enough.