Rick Gush
April 17, 2009

Lovely calla lilies
Photo by Rick Gush

Spring helped deliver stunning long stemmed calla lilies from Rick’s garden.

Well, we’ve arrived at that moment finally.  A bit late this year, but Spring is finally here. 

As I write this, I am for the first time since November, not wearing my long underwear. 

Ahh! What delicious freedom. It won’t be long until I’m wearing short pants every day and working in the garden with no shirt.

Finally, the dirt is dry enough to work, and I’m scrambling to make the final bed preparations and get the planting done. I planted squash seeds yesterday, the cherry tomatoes have been in for a few days, and I’m almost ready to plant the beans and corn.

I do have a few areas where the winter crops are still going strong.

I ate the first edible pod peas yesterday, and all the fave are at last making beans.

The little horse bean pods are only about two inches long now, and I’m worried that they won’t reach their full potential length of 15 inches by the end of the month. May first is the traditional fave eating day, and I’ll bet we have to settle for smaller pods for our own traditional first picnic of the year at the beach.

Visual Entertainment
Aside from the clothing and physical comfort aspects, spring offers a lot of visual entertainment here in Rapallo.

Although I mostly concentrate on constructing new beds and cultivating vegetables in my garden, last year I decided to start working more on the flowers mixed in among the various terraces. This year, that effort is starting to pay off.  

The yellow Euryops and purple Iris in my own garden look nice with the Calendulas and last Tulips, and the white and pink Dimorphotheca are exploding. The big shady wall on the north side is starting to get covered by the orange and yellow Nasturtiums that are hanging down fifteen feet in some spots already.

Flowers are opening all over the place here and Rapallo is filled with long fences covered by gorgeous purple wisteria, pots of big pink rhododendrons everywhere and bunches of brilliant orange Clivias in the shady nooks. 

Rapallo really does a good job with the municipal flowers, and most of the streets have tree, shrub and flower plantings that are well maintained.

It looks a little like Disneyland here sometimes, particularly at Easter, when they put up extra sumptuous displays in all the key locations downtown. This year they’ve even added flowers in pots to all the numerous bridges in town.

All this flowering also has a useful side. In my garden this afternoon I was able to cut a stunningly beautiful huge bunch of long stemmed calla lilies to take to my wife’s mother for Easter, which is tomorrow. 

Scoring points with mother in law is one of my rules for a happy existence.

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