Dahlias in the Pink

My father loved Dahlias and as teenagers we used to make fun of him and his flower choices – like Gladiolas. (which I love but not to plant in the garden) Each year we visit the garden of Villa Taranto on Lake Maggiore and it happens to have an astonishing display of very tall, very colourful dahlias.  I am always mesmerised by the range of colours, shapes and the sheer size of some of the blooms. This year was no exception and I have picked on ‘pink’. Plus I could have put up many more photos !!!

Europe has had a long hot summer and the gardens are showing signs of tiredness and look rather ‘Over’. They all need good shower of rain, but for many trees they have started to drop their leaves already.

The vineyards too are having a difficult season and grape picking is much earlier this year. Our day trip to Piemonte to visit New Zealander Jeffrey Chilcott at Marchessi de Gressi was very different since they had almost picked all their grapes except for the Nebbiolo. In past years the harvest usually hadn’t started, so they are contending with less juice and a challenging year. Jeffrey wanted rain and indeed he got a night of impressive thunder, lightening and torrential rain.

Our long lunch after a wine tasting in the village of Barbaresco never fails to impress and Jeffrey enjoyed a 3 hour lunch with us, which was a treat for him during busy harvest time. Course after course of delicious Piedmonte food along with a range of wines ensures this lunch always goes down very favourably – especially with Charles and we had some very jolly people getting on the bus for the drive to Lake Maggiore.(well for the first 30 minutes ) Here too experienced the stormy weather all night and the lake and mountains remained moody and stormy looking the following day although rain didn’t eventuate. Island hopping from Isola Madre – Islola Bella – Islola Pescatore makes for a fun day on the lake and a peak into the life of the Borromean family which still to this day own the lake and the islands.



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