Enjoying Summer in Tuscany with the new Swimming Pool, Family and Friends
After all the stone-heaving, mud-sliding, pipe-tracking work of digging up the land over the rain soaked months of winter and spring in order to inject a new pool into the landscape, this summer we reaped the sweet and juicy fruit of all that labour to the full.
And oh how refreshing in more ways than one! The pool has transformed the whole property into a haven of outdoor relaxation and refreshment. I remember summers as children, my brother and I living for the weekend when we would occasionally go and swim over the hill thirty minutes away at the house of our former neighbours, two American elderly sisters happy for us to share their pool. They had inflatable swans in the lawn and plastic fruit hanging from the trees which added to the Eden-like experience of being in the water in the 40 degree heat.
And now here we were, grown ups swimming in our own rectangle of grey/blue, in the empty space which was forever the compost heap at the bottom of the garden, cooling off in the shadow of the tower. It is in fact of course the best place to sit, with the finest view of the tower on one side and the olive grove on the other, as it slopes away towards the Duomo in the distance. What was once a barren space of discarded mowings and leftovers, has now turned into this fertile ground flanked by my mother’s new Medieval vegetable garden.
The Joy of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables from the Garden
And that was the other huge statisfaction…the abundance of fruit and vegetables ripe and ready in lavish quantities for us to enjoy. Grapes from the vine, plums from the tree, the odd early fig for breakfast, before delving into the vegetable garden and picking zucchini, tomatoes at every opportunity, aubergines, rocket and cavolo nero…in such abundance that we would look for recipients of big basketfuls to give away.
And finally, the new unexpected arrival of this season, melons! Having discarded large quantities of seeds and peel from shop bought melons onto the new compost heap, the mulch had then been used to fertilise flower beds around the house. Before long melon plants began to grow at the rate of knots, seemingly on a mission to conquer the earth and cover all bare grass before it. A few weeks later, our very first melons appeared. Hurray for compost heaps!
Whatever next? Watermelons? Feeling grateful for getting to share this glimpse of paradise on earth with family, friends and guests.