Stripped naked to its bare essentials. Last year I posted about the fig ivy growing on the walls of my home and how each spring I would cut it back down a third of the way and considerably thin it out creating a lacy look. This spring, drastic repair was required after our brutal winter had frozen and burned most of the foliage. Plus the ivy’s main stems had become too thick. It was time to start over. Well, sort of.
note about above photo: Once the camellia bush finishes blooming, I will wedge the ladder in to remove the dead stems on the left portion of the stone gable, but I’m too much of a fraidy cat to climb higher up the chimney stack. At fourteen feet, I call it quits.
I joined The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America in September of 2007 on a two week tour of the Northern Italian Lakes, where we visited numerous villas and gardens. I could not pass up this experience knowing that a lot of these places are not usually open to tourists and that seeing all of them as an individual tourist would be next to impossible. This was the chance of a lifetime. The lakes we visited were first Lake Maggiore, then Lake Orta, third was Lake Como, fourth was Lake Lugano, and the last stop was Lake Garda.
I’m not posting this for its view and history. I want you to notice those huge snaking coils of fig ivy all of which belong to one single plant. Just one. I don’t know how many years it took to train it to its current shape. Speaking of snakes, the Visconti family owned this villa at one time, and their emblem/crest, which is carved onto the stone balustrades, shows a huge snake devouring a child. How they came up with that design is a mystery to me. Perhaps the Viscontis are responsible for training the fig ivy into its current serpent shape. But probably not.