The Captain almost finished the mowing Saturday, a big job this time as it hasn’t been done since last November.  The grass is full of a kind of allium that grows all over the hillsides here and is blooming now.  The smell it makes when it is cut is, depending on your taste, heavenly or horrendous.  I happen to love onions and garlic, so I love the smell of the fresh-cut allium, but I imagine it might make my sister, who is allergic to all things allium, quake.
There is so much of this stuff growing, it’s a pity that it can’t be eaten. Our neighbor Rosa, the proprietress of the trattoria across the street, has warned us that eating this particular plant will make us sick. In spite of its yummy aroma we have heeded her advice. Wikipedia says there are 1250 varieties of allium – I haven’t been able to figure out exactly which this one is.  Here’s a close-up of its very sweet flower.


After a winter of neglect the orto (veggie and flower garden) was in serious need of attention, which is my department. I tackled the ‘weeds’ around one of the rose bushes that act as sentries on the north side of the garden. One man’s weed is another man’s flower, I’ve heard it said, and I agree. It is hard to weed when the intruders are so pretty:

But the rose will be happier if it has some air around its feet, so the allium, buttercups and clover are now all in the compost. We knew it rained a lot over the winter, and proof was evident under the weeds:
Each of these mushrooms was about the size of the head of a pin – teeny. Their frilly cousins over on the stone wall are somewhat larger:


Digging around in the dirt, which is soft now from all the rain, one frequently turns up surprises such as worms, grubs, ants,or  beetles.  I found a few of this animal tightly curled up just under the surface of the ground. Uncurled they look ickily like worms and tend to thrash around in an unbecoming way, but curled up they are quite attractive.

stinging-nettleWorking in the garden isn’t all sweet perfume and curious fauna. There is treachery hiding amongst the allium: the wretched stinging nettle. It looks innocuous enough, but touch it with your bare skin and you will get a prickly rash and a nasty stinging feeling that will last for ten or twenty minutes: not the end of the world, but something to watch out for.

There’s always a serpent in the garden, I guess, no matter where you live.