PANICALE, UMBRIA — The Rose Report comes to you direct from Umbria, by personal courier and email. Final chapter. I promise. Our garden in Panicale is totally flower dependent so I hope you will forgive me for being so involved with its flaura and fauna. It is our living room six months of the year. The street going by our garden is full of wonderful foot traffic and the roses on our pergola the full length of the street above our garden are our only privacy barrier. They and the wisteria are the roof over our head bathing us in their dappled shade all summer. As I have said earlier, I’ve slaved over these roses, manicured them at all seasons of the year. Remember the rose in The Little Prince? Mine get the same kid glove treatment. And they are just as pout-y and bad as the ones in the book. I’ve never seen them in bloom! Everyone else has. But they hide from me. This year was the closest I have ever come. I left for the plane on a Thursday morning and before my plane could touch down in Boston, our friend Harry had emailed to say the roses opened a few hours after I left. Rascally roses strike again.
Midge was still in Italy after I left and she took some new blooms off the pergola and pressed them in a book for me and brought them back here with her. My roses have always been strictly academic anyway, but now they are just this much closer to being real. It was a treat to see them even if pressed. Smaller than I imagined. They are climbing roses we call Lady Banks. And Italians call “banksia”. What they lack in size they make up in color and quantity as you can see from Harry’s email photos. Yellow roses lead up to violet wisteria. White spirea covers the bush below the plum. Oh, to be there on a day in May, with a glass of local, red wine, watching the sun go down and gossiping with friends about the day’s adventures.
OK, all done. No more whining about roses. I love knowing that they are there and that their sunshine yellow blooms will be lighting up that corner Via del Filatoio the whole month of May.