Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spontaneous Gardens

spontaneous sidewalk gardens 

Along with  Northern Lazio ‘s   numerous  majestic, historic gardens with  pedigrees going back hundreds of years,  there are  humble sidewalk and piazza gardens which are the spontaneous labor of love of the  inhabitants.  
the giant jasmine climbs the wall  on Vicolo del Sole 

Here are a few examples  I noticed  this week, all within a few minutes  of my home.

Piazza S. Egidio (or Piazza Garibaldi ) 

jasmine  thrive on the sunny corner of the piazza 

Adriana  takes pride in her  corner of Piazza S. Egidio, caring for  plants such as this  azalea left behind by previous owners  who  returned to America.

Adrianna's  azaleas 
Marcella and  husband Spartaco are the self appointed guardian/gardeners of  Piazza del Sole.  A white azalea, once belonging to Marcella’s  mother, along with hundreds of roses and other plants  beautify the piazza thanks  to the personal care  of this couple in their 80s.

Franco's wall garden   

Marcella of Piazza  del Sole 

American visitors in Piazza del Sole  with Angelino and Spartaco (right)

Some towns  have flower festivals and  motivate  citizens, often with cash prizes,  to beautify  their  streets thus attracting tourists.  Spello in Umbria is an example along with  the mid-June  Festival of Fiori in Finestra e Cene in Cantina here in Vetralla. 

 Luckily  most citizens do not wait for official recognition nor annual festivals for they look after their spontaneous gardens all year round.
an abandoned corner  
Sometimes  a spontaneous garden  blooms not  with flowers. 
a bombed out building 
became  a  quirky  garden 
This half wrecked  building on a side street of the historic center,  has been left in ruins since  World War II  and was nothing more than an eyesore and dumping ground. 
a wall of memories 
That is until  a fireworks technician  with a well developed aesthetic sense  came to live  nearby.

  Lately  the area has been  transformed  by  the hard work of one   anonymous neighbor who cleaned up the rubble, transforming the  area into a quirky  garden. 
the  cantinas were cleared  of rubble 
found in the wreckage, 
Using  bits and pieces  found  on site, he created a wall of memories, setting  the stones  into  piles and inserting  objects found among the rubble   along the  walls.  

Monday:  stop  press!
Just met the "gardener"  on the street and he let me take this photo while he was eating a panino.  He told me a bit about  how he  worked for 8 months digging through  60 years of garbage and junk  to clean up and arrange the rocks and rubble into something more pleasant to look at. Bravo Emidio! 

Monday,  June  17th  
Happy to announce that Emidio Di Bonaventura  was just named  winner   for  this year's Cene in Cantine Fiori alle Finestre  competition.  All his hard work paid off! Congratulations!
The motivation reads: 
 1 Angoli    Vicolo della Cera    Emidio
 "Per aver recuperato un angolo  abbandonato e  dimenticato di Vetralla con un lavoro lungo e costante , riportando alla luce  oggetti, attrezzi e strumenti legati alla vita e  al lavoro del passato" (For having recuperated an abandoned , forgotten corner of Vetralla with a long and constant work, bringing back to the light objects, tools and  instruments connected with the life and work of the past" )


 Now  if only  the  owners of the  building  will get their act together this section of town  will be a decent place to live.   

1 comment:

  1. Bravo Emidio ! Bisognerebbero aver più persone come te ...