My green thumb is really more a 'pale' green when it comes to gardening. It is more luck than horticultural skills when something thrives (or merely survives) under my care. And so, I am always enthralled with the beautiful gardens surrounding many of Italy's ancient castles, villas and palaces. I can't imagine the meticulous care the gardener(s) must place into maintaining their lushness, symmetry and design.
Then, I have to question if it is luck, mere coincidence or mysterious magic that enables some Italian gardners to grow something beautiful out of nothing. I'm talking about trees and vines that seemingly grow out of cracks of cement or stone.
I have to wonder ... is it really gardening skill, ideal climate or the perfect soil that gives the Italian gardener a leg up (or would that be a thumb up) over me? Maybe, just maybe, it has less to do with the actual gardening than a desire vivere sobriamente (to lead a simple life) surrounded by one of these scenes of beauty that appeal to me more.
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