A strange week August 26th 2016

It has not been a good week.

On Sunday we heard that a dear friend had died, the funeral was on Tuesday.

Monday was GBFD so I didn’t join with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to share my vases, sorry Cathy.  Worse still the wind was blowing very strongly (it continued all week until today, Friday)  Wind isn’t unusual here but all the fields around us have new tenants – I won’t say they are farmers because they are not, it is an industrial operation and with each new day it seems they do something new to destroy the environment.  Monday, despite the strong wind they were spraying, insecticide I thought, the whole house smelt dreadful, I closed all the windows but my throat became sore almost immediately.  This wasn’t the first issue we’d had and so neighbours had already arranged a meeting with them for later that day, at the meeting I was told (with a smile of the guy’s face) that it wasn’t insecticide (bad enough) but that they had actually been spraying herbicide and that if it really had sprayed  into the garden I could well lose some plants!!!!! As I said it was a bad week.

The insecticide that had been used on Saturday evening (just as we’d planned to eat outside) was said to be safe after 7 days but as they’ll be spraying probably twice a week it means that I don’t want to use anything in the vegetable garden, plus if it what they said it was then there will far fewer pollinators around so probably not worth even planting anything next year.  I have been so upset; Tuesday I went out at about 10 am and didn’t return until evening, visiting one friend after another because I really couldn’t face being at home.

During the early hours of Tuesday we had been woken by the earthquake – this put things in  a different perspective or on Wednesday morning when my husband sent me a message to say that his office was arranging to collect items essential for the homeless people of Amatrice and the other villages devastated by the earthquake I decided to ask friends to get involved and arranged to collect whatever they had to give.  They were generous so the car was filled and I at least I have begun to do something positive.

So, with the intention of just writing a quick catch up post this has turned into a bit of a saga.

Let’s end with some vases and my Tuesday view.  No more words necessary.

Vase 1 Sunflowers, Zinnias and Rudbeckias

Vase 1 Sunflowers, Zinnias and Rudbeckias

The smaller sunflowers are producing masses of blooms now

The smaller sunflowers are producing masses of blooms now

I love this orange and slightly pink Zinnia

I love this orange and slightly pink Zinnia

Vase 2 Hot oranges

Vase 2 Hot oranges

Zinnia - I sometimes think I could make a whole cut flower garden with just Zinnias for summer

Zinnia – I sometimes think I could make a whole cut flower garden with just Zinnias for summer

Vase 3 updated version of the vase from the previous week, I prefer this lighter brighter version

Vase 3 updated version of the vase from the previous week, I prefer this lighter brighter version

Sunflowers and Ami visnaga and Dorcus carota

Sunflowers and Ami visnaga and Dorcus carota

Sunflowers and Ami visnaga and Dorcus carota

Sunflowers and Ami visnaga and Dorcus carota

The images for the Tuesday view for Cathy at Words and Herbs were taken on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday view 23.08.2016

Tuesday view 23.08.2016

Euphorbia myrsinites and the crimson flower of Lamprathus spectabilis

Euphorbia myrsinites and the crimson flower of Lamprathus spectabilis

Sedum and Santolina

Sedum and Santolina

Sedum and Santolina and Stipa tenuissima

Sedum and Santolina and Stipa tenuissima

Sedum 'Purple Emperor', at least this plant thrives in the heat

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’, at least this plant thrives in the heat

I hope you have a lovely weekend.


48 thoughts on “A strange week August 26th 2016

  1. Christina siento mucho lo de los pesticidas: yo los odio, no me extraña que estés tan enfadada. Yo estaría peor que tú. Encima ayer hubo un nuevo terremoto, no sé si fue en tu zona : estaba preocupada. Haces muy bien reuniendo cosas para los afectados. Todos tus jarrones son preciosos. Las Zinnias son bonitas en todos los colores y los Girasoles Ami visnaga me encantan. En cuanto a las imágenes de la vista del Martes, las plantas que has elegido están maravillosas. El Sedum “Emperador Púrpura” es magnífico y la Santolina plateada preciosa. Saludos de Margarita.

  2. Christina I am sorry to hear about your week….and the loss of your friend. I have not made vases since I hurt my shoulder and realize how much I miss them. I need to get back out and make a small one at least. Thanks for the reminder.

    I will hold good thoughts for you and your garden.

  3. Bless you. I am disturbed by spraying during wind. Any “-cides” should not be sprayed under those conditions. We lost a friend last week also. Sometimes it feels like the sky is falling.

  4. I am very sorry to hear that you’ve been having such a bad time recently, the tenant ‘farmers’ sound like a nightmare. Having read your news, your good deeds plus beautiful vases and planting combinations are like hope in the chest of woes.

  5. You certainly have had a bad week Christina, blanket spraying is something that none of us would want in our gardens, I hope yours hasn’t suffered too badly.
    We are keeping up with the news about the earthquake near you, our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  6. I’m very sorry for all of your losses–friend, respectful garden neighbors, and the earthquake victims. Your flowers though are lovely, as are the photos in your garden. I do hope they bring a measure of joy and contentment.

  7. Oh dear Christina, what an awful week for you and your garden. But your garden is looking wonderful and the arrangement is lovely. I think it is great that you are doing something for the earhquake victims who have lost everything.

  8. Your flowers are beautiful – whether in the vases or in the earth! Your experience with the agribusiness is so disheartening, though, and it’s great that you have written about it because we really do need to stand up and be counted on this one. Unbelievable that they can get away with so polluting the neighbourhood – I hope you and your neighbours can fight back. Actually I am quite surprised by your experience as, on recent visits to Italy, I have been impressed by the amount of organic produce available, the awareness of environmental issues, the use of renewable, especially solar, energy… Or have I been hoodwinked?

    • solar power is huge in Italy, that’s one very positive thing. In the past small producers even if they weren’t registered organic didn’t actually use many chemicals. These new people instead are not interested in farming just in producing thousands of ‘perfect’ broccoli plants!!!!

  9. Oh, my, Christina, I feel your despair. How upsetting. I’d go crazy if I had poison-loving neighbors. I hope you don’t lose plants and those poor, unfortunate ‘good’ insects. They don’t understand that spraying makes things come back 10x worse. Sad.
    Your vases are gorgeous, each one better than the previous. You saved the best for last!

  10. Oh, Christina! I’m sorry on all counts – the loss of your friend, the earthquake, and the miseries imposed by your new neighbors. I hope the industrial growers react more positively in the future than your initial exchange with them suggests.

  11. You poor girl. What an awful week you have had. But you have managed to do some good as a result and have also produced some beautiful vases from your garden. The light one with Daucus is so pretty. I’m sure if you wash your vegetables well they will be fine to eat. It is so worrying when the farmers next to our garden spray too, but there are strict rules about doing it when there is no wind and I should report them if they broke those laws.
    Your view is still lovely, even with the heat drying everything up. I do hope this coming week will be a better one for you.

  12. So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and then the spraying and earthquake. At least you were able to do something good to help the victims. Your views and flowers are lovely. All the vases are great, but I like Vase 3 best – I love the pale colours and the different textures in the vase. Is there anything you can do about the spraying? It didn’t seem as if you made much progress in the meeting.

  13. Somehow I knew you’d be out helping the earthquake victims Christina, but hadn’t imagined the other sadnesses going on this week in your life. I’m deeply sorry to hear you’ve lost a dear friend. Hugs to you both. The vases are some of your prettiest ever. Recently some of my neighbors are campaigning to raise awareness of toxicity in weed killers used in the common area plantings of my subdivision and to recommend alternatives. Sadly others are unmoved by the concern, but I hope over time we will learn.

    • So many people are completely oblivious to the damage we are causing to our planet. I think we have to try to raise awareness wherever we can, but it isn’t easy especially when financial interests come into play.

  14. Your flowers are beautiful. I love the Sedum and Santolina together. Is that Leontis in the vase? I’m sorry you had to say goodbye to a friend and it’s heartbreaking to hear about your neighbours. The only way in the long term is for them to be able to earn more money selling ‘not perfect’ broccoli, I think. However if you and the other neighbours protest and make their lives difficult perhaps at least they will leave your area. In our area we don’t have much large scale spraying as the only agriculture is grazing, however one woman has had a big impact on the subdivision rules (large sections, not-large houses, more tree planting). She is a lawyer, and the council are so worried about having to spend money fighting her in court that they pretty much follow her wishes.

  15. Well done for helping with this tragedy-it’s both awful to imagine it and then seeing the ruins brings it home. Showing our humanity and helping others is all we can do in these shocking events.

  16. The stipa, sedum and santolina look perfect together. What can I say about the spraying, just horrendous. Why are they spraying herbicide on broccoli? I know all about not wanting to go home, due to noisy neighbours in my case. It’s a horrible feeling. In the end we had no choice but to move. I hope your situation can be resolved less drastically.

    • We’ve had noisy neighbours in the past, so I know all about that feeling. This seems almost worse because I feel so helpless in the face of big business. The herbicide is worrying on another level too as it would imply that the crop must be GM. More investigation into the company is necessary.

  17. What a week you have had. Sorry . Blanket spraying is unforgivable on a windy day, if not anytime, but what can you do. Sometimes we can only try our best and try to ignore the things we cannot control. Your vases are fabulous and the garden too. Helping those poor souls caught up in earthquake is such a positive and kind thing to do, what a generous person you are.

  18. Oh, Christina, my heart goes out to you! I am sorry for your loss of a dear friend, and by the earthquake. As I watched news coverage, I had no idea how close you were to this tragedy. I am also saddened that your idyllic setting is being spoiled by those who are so careless with the environment and apparently unconcerned about the safety and health of the neighbors.

    A public garden I am involved with was recently sprayed with insecticide, in the morning when pollinators were most active! The reasoning was to kill mosquitos, but butterflies and bees were also affected. I was appalled by the ignorance of those who did this to a public garden with bee hives. About the time I feel we are making progress in lifting public awareness to the dangers of chemical insecticides and pesticides, I realize how far we have yet to go.

    • We have been so lucky up to now that the farming around us has been very low key with minimum interventions. There appears to be very little we can do in the face of this industrial type of farming; they have leased the land for 7 years so I think I have to try to minimise it’s affects on me personally and try to make others aware of the dangers. Thank you for your support.

  19. Oh Christina, I’m so sorry to hear of your horrible week.
    I’m glad to hear you’re safe and impressed you’re able to try to do something positive when you clearly have your own issues to contend with. Thinking of you.

  20. That was a very bad week. Our gardens are very precious to us and when they are attacked by whatever forces it is very important to us. At least being able to help personally and rapidly for the people made homeless by the earthquake must have assuaged the feeling of being helpless. Amelia

  21. So sorry to read about your awful week. Its so sad that there seems to be no way of stopping the polluters. I do hope your beautiful garden won’t be damaged. Your vases are beautiful, thinking of you both.

    • This week has not been so stressful and it even rained a little yesterday which always lifts my spirits. Nighttime temperatures will drop so that even if the days are hot the plants will improve.

  22. I’m only reading your post this morning and I’m sorry to hear about the barrage of bad events surrounding your home. It is something to be proud of though, how much good comes out from your end and I think the change in weather patterns will greatly improve your outlook if not the situation. The new neighbor will be quite the thorn in your side I suspect.

  23. How awful to have your neighbor’s toxic spray spreading out all over your garden and home. It’s completely outrageous, but industrial ag does things all over the US that are very similar, and they get away with it. I do love your sunflowers and ‘Purple Emporer’ Sedum – do you prefer it to ‘Matronna’?

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