If only I had a before picture. Unfortunately, I don’t.
The lavender plants were tiny – some that I had picked up at a small, local nursery – and the ground was rock hard. It was well into the dry heat of summer, the wrong time of year to plant anything in Umbria, but I wasn’t going to have another opportunity that year, so I went for it.
Afterwards, when I surveyed my work, I remember looking at those scrawny little plants along the parched hillside and imagining them tall and full of blossoms, attracting butterflies and bees.
Several years had passed since I planted lavanda in that rock-hard hillside and, boy, has that vision come to pass! Each year the plants seem to double in size, and there are so many bees and butterflies that we call it our humming hedge.
So now I’m thinking about purchasing a little still to make essential oil – lavender oil, naturally. We’ll see what the future brings.
In the meantime, I’ll sit transfixed watching bees and butterflies.
Pamela Haack is the founder of Off the Beaten Strada, where she creates and hosts small group tours that are a combination of the very best of Italy: the exciting and the peaceful, the popular and the secret, the talked about and the never-heard-of-before. From art experts and operettas to authentic cooking classes and ancient Etruscans, Pamela helps visitors experience the spectacularly beautiful, endlessly interesting cities and countryside of Italy in an up-close and personal way.
She is also the author of Top 10 Favorite Etruscan Sites, as well as her popular blog, Off the Beaten Strada in Italy.
Pamela lives with her husband, Lou, in Umbria, Italy.