A long weekend

I took the day off yesterday because we had workers coming for tiling the upstairs bathroom and  the loggia. The other rooms will have wooden floors as soon as I’ll have the windows mounted (soon, apparently…). As I’ve learnt you have to stay home and watch workers doing their job, at least for the first day, you hang around them, you ask if they want coffee, you show some empathy asking some silly questions about their job and meanwhile you check on them, you see if they have understand how you want the job to be done. Because when some jobs are done, they’re done. You can’t take the tiles off the wall, can you? They did a good job at the end of the day and we were pleased to see those bare rooms are finally getting a proper ‘shape’. I’m really looking forward to sit on the loggia and have a cup of coffee while I watch the garden, or the stars at night, or a storm coming… I will post some pictures of the loggia later this month.

Knowing we had the monday off all the weekend tasted sweeter somehow, more relaxed. Sunday we went to a flower and gardening fair in Pordenone, not far from where I live. I must tell it wasn’t as I expected to be, the quality and quantity of the plants shown weren’t noticeable, just consider I didn’t feel like buying anything: and this is bizarre, believe me!

There was a few nice exhibitions made by some garden designers, the one above is the best one, in my opinion. Very simple but cozy, almost shabby yet very sweet.

The more stimulating thing is that even though we didn’t buy anything (well almost anything…) we went home bursting with new ideas that will help us solving some hardscape and furniture issues at home. Above all I found this beautiful pergola:

If you can imagine it without roofing (as I wish I could put only a fabric sheet) this is the fair copy of what I’ve sketched (this is the south facing side of the house):

I only need to define how many billions this trick is going to cost me…

Under that pergola we are going to put a big table and some chairs to share dinner with friends on summer. We even found something we’d like.

The best stand was one of old and english roses, I didn’t buy anything though, I have enough pots at home and the roses were already too forward for the season which means: troubles!

Pictures quality is rather poor and I’m sorry, I took some quick snaps while there was no people walking in between…

Probably the best part of the exhibition was dedicated to orchids. I’m always amazed by their beauty but meanwhile I’m a little afraid of them, they seem fussy and I don’t want to make them die…

Those little white orchids seem to look past and sigh: “Tomorrow I’ll think of some way . . . after all, tomorrow is another day.”

Another good idea (everything but new, though) was this fancy fence that Ale wants to copy for the veggie garden… rather French I’d say.

A pretty wide area was dedicated to food and cosmetics, things that are averything but related to gardening, in my opinion, however you go to a gardening fair and you find stuff like hands cream or essential oils or people selling cheese… or chocolate… They are tempting though!

Yesterday, while the workers were tiling, we worked all the day in the garden. I planted a few more spring bulbs (trumpet and tiger lilies, crocosmias…) while Ale moved some compost from the pile (the dogs found a couple of mice on it and hunted them down), I finished chopping the grasses while Ale dug a new stream of ground and then I burned the hay from the chopping in the gravel garden, as I can’t leave the mulch over. We finished the gardening day after the sun set, watching the fire sparkling in the air. I chopped one of my fingers too and this morning I came at work with my back aching but I found another box for me: this was the time for hostas and they look pretty good, so I think I’m going to order more next year. My mum loves hostas too, so we placed the order together and hopefully in a few years we can swap plants.

Every plant came into a plastic bag, with its plastic label to place in the pot and at least 4-5 ‘eyes’ each plant. I ordered them at hostaparadise.com they shipped the stuff the day after I paid with paypal and the plants arrived within a week. Good quality plants and rather good prices, it depends on what you pick. I had only a few hostas so I’ve picked some of the cheapest as they probably are the healthier and the faster growers and a couple of big ones like ‘niagara falls’ and ’empress wu’ which worth a little higher price.

What are you doing tonight? I think I’ll be potting hostas in the stable… What a relaxing plan! 🙂

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32 thoughts on “A long weekend

    • Well, 3 million could be a reasonable price… The pergola itself is rather easy to build but unbelievably the three budget I’ve asked for (to 3 different places) are pretty expensive. I must pop out with a good idea…

  1. You are right about watching workers. We hired a dozer one year – and then left, thinking he understood what we wanted. When we came back he had dozed down everything in sight! Live and learn. Those orchids are beautiful, but I’m scared of them, too. I also ordered an “Empress Wu” hosta this year. I hope she’s pretty! Although you didn’t get much at the show, at least you came away with tons of inspiration, and that’s priceless!

    • Inspiration, you hit the point! Now I have a project, the inspiration and a lot of good will, we just need the money…
      Workers hove proved to be good, they told me they’re going to finish the job by tomorrow noon. Tiles look pretty good.
      I’m sorry for your dozer, I know exactly what you mean ’cause I had surprises more than once by workers left alone…

  2. Hi Alberto,

    Ooooh, day off – what’s one of those?! 😦
    But yep, I always feel obliged to be around when workmen are around anyway just in case there’s anything they need really. But certainly if it’s something really important like tiling and ensuring the lines between tiles are equal and straight!

    What did I do tonight? Well, not a great deal… And I think I’ve finally decided that I am definitely beginning to suffer with hayfever (I usually get it in spring) so I’ve had some nasal spray after being unable to breath through my nose for the past few days and suddenly I can breathe again (well, almost… still a little stuffed). Hadn’t expected it in March tbh.

    • Hey! Still wandering around with your mouth open? 🙂
      Hopefully I don’t suffer with hay fever since I was 15, my mum gave me twice a day a syrup made of pollen for several weeks and I became immune. The syrup was horrible but it allowed me to have a wide grass garden without sneeze nowadays.

  3. That was one busy weekend. Did you really not buy any of the chocolate? I think David is shooting low– looks like a 4.5 billion pergola to me. But you definitely need a covered outside dining area so get going on that anyway. I will have to make due with my grape arbor and the front porch… Wish we could exchange dinner parties in summer Alberto–and how lovely to remember summer dining outside. –Snow here this morning again!

    • Is it still snowing? Don’t you worry, soon the rain season’s going to start…
      Well at least I won’t be the last blogger in the World with late spring blooms…

      You’d dare sharing food with me? I’m joking, I am a good cook, did you know I run a restaurant for 5 years when I was younger? It would be nice to invite some blogger friends around for dinner, shame people can not travel through the internet, …yet.

  4. Can’t wait to see a pergola and the tiling…I had a cold snowy weekend so no gardening…planning, writing and starting seeds indoors…it appears there is a garden show everywhere you go in the world in March…some interesting sights, but I want the food!!

    • The food was interesting too, especially for an italian american like you. Typical italian cheese, bread loaves as big as a dining table, olives, anchovies and other food that for me is normal, maybe it would have been yummy for non-italian readers… I’ll remember that.
      How can you still have snow? It’s totally out of season, isn’t it?

  5. Veramente lungo e pieno il tuo fine settimana. Quanta energia!
    Il prossimo fine settimana ci sarà Giardini d’Autore a Riccione, una piccola fiera che però
    a me dà molte soddisfazioni. Compro sempre ! Sigh!
    Troppo distante per voi?
    Ci sarranno anche diversi amici della compagnia del giardinaggio.
    Ciao

    • Ciao Loretta! Ma tu chi sei nella Cdg che ancora non ho capito? Io leggo il tuo blog, ma lo sai che non riesco mai a lasciare un commento? Ne approfitto per dirtelo qui, ho provato alcune volte a scriverti ma mi blocca all’infinito con la mia identità wordpress… uffa. 😦
      Riccione non è distantissimo, ma nemmeno tanto vicino, so che è interessante quella fiera perchè spesso ne sento parlare, ma siccome vorremmo finire la casa entro Pasqua (tra poco arrivano le finestre e dobbiamo prepararci per lo ‘scatto finale’) mi sa che questo mese staremo chiusi a dipingere pareti e spostare mobili… Speriamo di finire questo restauro, non ne posso più! Grazie per farti sentire ogni tanto anche se io non scrivo mai nel tuo blog ma ho problemi a farlo… perchè non passi a wordpress? 😀

  6. What a busy weekend you had, even if you didn’t buy any plants, you certainly came back full of inspiration for your own garden. Your pergola and dining area sounds wonderful, very envious! Surely the chocolate tempted you!!!

    • To be honest I’ve been more tempted by some special bread they had 🙂 I am a bread and salami kind of guy, rather than chocolate and sweets.
      I am really looking forward to seeing that pergola done, for now I am happy with my paved loggia though! 😉

  7. The garden fair sounds like a good day out…even though you did’nt buy anything. I would’nt have been able to resist the chocs. You got some good ideas anyway. I too admire Orchids from afar. I looked after one for my neighbour and it died despite my tender loving care.

    • …your tender loving care… ha ha! Does your neighbor still talk to you? 🙂
      To be honest… at the end of the day we bought something but you don’t tell anyone ok? Ale didn’t want to go away ‘bare hands’ so we bought a small hydrangea petiolaris, I want it to climb on the loggia wall once it’s finished and the plant’s been in our wish list for quite a long time…

  8. Hosta’s in the stable, can I come please…..sounds a perfect end to the day.

    Nice meal with hubby for me.

    I love the shabby garden (as you called it). They are timeless, don’t you think??

    The willow fencing is something we use a lot in the UK, particularly in the countryside.
    I like the fact that it looks so natural….

    Your home is obviously going to be something really special 🙂

    • Hosta’s in the stable sounded sooo good to me too but then I went to bed at half one in the night and with a broken back!
      I like that kind of shabby garden which isn’t shabby at all, as they are highly designed, the real shabby ones are not a good sight I think…

      A really special home… thanks Cheryl, you gave me the strength to paint some of the rooms tomorrow… Another relaxing weekend is going to start… 🙂

  9. Day off, too true, leave some of these guys entirely to their own devices at your peril. A loggia, now I have decided not to google it, I will make a guess (balcony). How uneducated am I. We have one of those pergola thingys outside our back door, with a perspex roof and a table. It doesn’t look as swish as yours but it only cost thirty five thousand pounds. Potting Hostas relaxing, never! I have just come indoors after reading a book in glorious sunshine, can you believe that, in the month of March.

    • I’ve been watering the garden the whole morning today and now I have a terrible headache because of the strong sun we have in these days, I’m not used to it yet.
      35.000 pounds? You kidding me? I’ve seen your pergola in some of your pics and I like it, it’s very cozy but wow how expensive…

  10. I hope your remodeling is finished soon and you can enjoy your house (and your garden). That pergola looks impressive, I am hoping you will post updates if you decide to go with it. Those English roses in the show looked so lovely, I can’t believe you could resist them :).

    • I could indeed, because I still have 20ish potted roses I haven’t planted yet and other 30ish I have already planted some months ago. I need to wait and see what they do. Last night I dreamt I had my first rose in bloom: it was a M.me Alfred Carriere: it didn’t have any leaf yet but only one big white flower… I bet I’ve been impressed a little too much by your last post….

  11. You had a great weekend! You are very right about having to keep an eye on contractors! I learned that the hard way and ended up having to redo some bathroom tile work myself. I planted an ‘Empress Wu’ last year and waiting to see how it does this year. Last year my Empress was tiny! I mail ordered it and was shocked at how small my expensive plant was. I hope it grows fast!

    • You can’t put and Empress in a hurry, can you? A hosta takes about 3-5 yrs to get its supposed growth, give her some more time. Besides, mail ordered plants often arrive smaller than we expect but I’m very happy with this Dutch hosta nursery, the plants look so healthy and ready to spring… Let’s wait and see.
      I have to redo the tiles in the bathroom as well because they are a mess. And they’ve done it the only day I wasn’t there. I call him this morning and I said he can come and redo all the job asap if he wants his money… Yes because another lesson I’ve learned is never pay contractors before you have checked on the job.

  12. Ahhhh….that sounds like pretty much a perfect weekend! I love the twiggy fence…you should totally try to incorporate one in your garden…very charming. I just noticed the other day that the Tiger Lilies my dad gave me last fall are up already…sadly, we got some snow last night…eek! I agree about having workers at your house…it’s a good idea to stick around and keep an eye on them…you can avoid some costly mistakes that way 😉

    • Actually they did some costly mistakes on the last days but it’s costly for them as I’ve menaced them not to pay until they fix it. This morning there they were: working and apologizing… …and I end up looking like the bad guy…
      Snow? Really? Wasn’t your winter supposed to be mild?! 🙂
      I hope you didn’t get any damages in your garden though and I’m looking forward to seeing new growth and maybe some spring flower in your next post?

  13. Ciao Alberto, il mio nick nella compagnia è Lora23, ma più che intervenire, leggo.
    Non credo che passerò a wordpress ( perlomeno non nel breve termine) perchè
    già ho poco tempo e adesso che arriva la stagione dei grandi lavori, il mio tempo,
    oltre al lavoro ordinario, sarà impegnato nel mio giardi-campo. Troppo impegno!
    Alla prossima.

    • Eh ho visto che hai un bel po’ di terra a cui star dietro… Devo ammettere che mi sono divertito anch’io a bruciare le ultime graminacee grandi, non avevo voglia di star li a sminuzzarle. Sono rimasto li a guardare il breve spettacolo del fuoco di paglia (letterale) ed è stato appagante. Il tuo gattone rosso scappa però alla vista del fumo eh?!

  14. Hi Alberto, here’s my reply to your coment, sorry its not helpful. “Sorry Alberto, I really don’t know; when I bought it, it wasn’t even labeled as a Verbena!” Christina

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