Planting trees late Fall, 2011

Hans and just came home with quite a few large trees and shrubs to plant.

Look, our good friends Paolo’s “furgò” filled with trees and shrubs.

paolos furgo


In Italy we have several different law enforcement agencies.

The Forestale is one of them; they occupy themselves with issues related to the land and plants.

Here in Le Marche the Forestale also has 4 large plant nurseries, growing indigenous and hardy plants at a fraction of the cost you can find anywhere else The one nearest to us is in the national park of the Sibillini mountains.

Monte Sibilla

The nursery with Monte Sibilla in the background.

Hans and I have been getting plants from them for several years now. It’s become one of my favorite places; it sits right at the foot of Monte Sibilla, with a breathtaking view, manned by the friendliest and most knowledgeable people, and they even have a deer park, just because they like it.

Well, what’s not to like?

Forest Department Nursery

The nursery

Now I should point out that planting large trees here is anything but fun. Actually, planting even small shrubs doesn’t really fit my description of fun. Let me explain. Our soil is clay. It’s either like trying to make a hole in solid rock if it’s dry, or it’s like trying to make a hole in the heaviest, stickiest stuff you can imagine. Honestly, if it’s wet it’s as though some mob member put your feet in concrete and forgot to dump you in the river so you need to walk with this heavy mass that will not come off your shoes.

We’ve had a very dry summer and fall, and even though we just had a week of rain, the soil is rock hard just 20 cm below the surface. Uffa. Makes us both grumpy, not to mention our sore backs!

Planting Cyprus

Planting Cyprus

But, what satisfaction to see our farm become more and more beautiful.

See here a photo from Dec. 2006:

Olive grove in winter


Same view, May, 2011

Olive Grove

Not only is it more beautiful, but we have more shade (so necessary in the summer months) and lots of birds, butterflies, bees etc that were not around just a few years ago. So with renewed energy from seeing old photos, off we go to carve some more holes in rock!

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