Red as Passion


Red roses are rare in my garden. I always found them a bit too much “classical” and obvious so that I have not planted them since a few years ago. And the reason why was that when we moved here I discovered an old  beatiful red rose  that alone was enough representative the whole category of red roses by itself. Petals are velvety, colour is resistent and stay untill they fade, flower can arrive up to 20 cm of diameter. The scent is also an experience: lemon accent on musk backround…It has no copious flowering, just lonely beautiful red roses. I do not know the name and any help is welcome. Her nick name is “Red Beauty”.

So the following year I have been filling my garden with yellow, pink and white roses. My husband was protesting as only red roses have a meaning for him. The others (pink, white, yellow) are only pale copy of the “queen of the garden”. So, after his protesting, I decided to add red roses but far from the “Red Beauty” and with different characteristics for not competing.

I added a “Crimson Glory”, a climber by Kordes (1935). Roses start deep red and turn purple when they fade.  This rose is now on the iron arch and we are waiting to cover it all.

Both roses are so scented: you can also use for prepare a delicate aromatic tea.

Here a simple RECIPE: boil water and fresh scented petals in a jug untill the petals became dark. Filter the tea and add honey or sugar if you prefer sweeter. It can be served hot with biscuits or cold as refreshment.

More pictures on our Flickr Page

Alessandro & Cinzia


Here the nice message from Cinzia and Alessandro who stayed here on Easter Holidays. When she left she made me a promise: next time in Asia I will send a postcard to you. She has been trustful and here is the proof.

“Carissima Laura,
scusa il ritardo con il quale ti rispondo. Le nostre vacanze da voi sono state fantastiche. L’Ancora ci è rimasta nel cuore , così come tutto il Chianti ( non dispero prima o poi di trasferirmici!!).
Il mio viaggio a Hing King è stato posticipato di una settimana, quindi per la cartolina dovrai attendere ancora un pò.
Mi sono iscritta al blog così ci possiamo tenere in contatto.
Per ora un bacione a tutti voi,
a presto
Cinzia e Ale”

Christiane and André – France


Voilà, a nice letter from Christiane and André. They stayed at Ancora del Chianti last summer and we still keep in touch. This is a letter they wrote us about a big change in their life: moving to Mayotte. I only could have the impression they are going far away from France, but I actually needed an atlas to see how much. Very far away!!

“Bonjour Laura (et Philippo et les enfants et Maya !)
Juste un petit mot pour vous dire combien nous avions apprécié notre séjour chez vous l’an dernier au mois d’août. C’était un grand bonheur qui nous a aidé à passer ce triste hiver marqué par trop d’évènements mondiaux très tristes !
Nous vous faisons beaucoup de publicité et j’espère que des amis à nous viendront dès cet été à Ancora !
Nous avons dégusté le vin naturel de Philippo et mon fils lui même vigneron de vin naturel a beaucoup apprécié. Nous assaisonnons nos salades avec l’huile de la propriété indiquée par Laura et parlons très souvent de vous.
Nous étions restés 15 jours et je vous joins une photo pour le souvenir !
Nous allons quitter la France et partir à Mayotte où je suis nommée ProviseurAdjoint d’un Lycée dès le mois d’aout 2010. Mais promis quand nous reviendrons en France nous retournerons en Toscane.
Prenez soin de vous
Christane et André
Merci beaucoup pour vos voeux….”
More pictures on our Flickr Page

Whreath & Vines


What to do when your husband is pruning? Prepare some nice wreaths!!!

This is what I have been doing in the last weeks as Filippo was pruning the vineyard and the olive trees. Fruit trees turned out also to be suitable for wreaths and very nice colours.

Usually Filippo starts to prune in wintertime. This year it has been particulary cold and rainy weather and he could not start pruning untill the climate changed a bit. Especially for the new planted vines the risk was to cut and have a cold night that could effect badly the plant and make it suffer or die.

The olive trees are pruned after the vines as they are evergreen. That is why they cannot bear a very cold or freezing night with a fresh cut. The coming fruit can be damaged or the tree it self.

As soon as I saw the big bunch of olive pruning my first desire was… jump in it! What a nice sensation to be supported by the soft branches!!! Afterwards I started to select the best and suitable branches for the wreath. I thought it was easier and it took a while to understand the best technique. I had only a pair of garden scissors.

When the wreaths were ready I started to decorate with lavander sachets….so good smelling! It has been a pleasure to tie all the ribbons in different colours and combine with the right style of sachets. Every wreath is different and has its own style: the classical blue lavander with blue and purple ribbons; spring inspiration for the pale green and light blue with vivid blue ribbons and the elegant country olive weath with leaves and brown ribbons.

Look also the other innovative version I found at my dear friend Sabine, with iron decoration and shells. What a good idea!! Thank you!!

Making wreath has been a pure joy: surrounded by kids happy and jumping in the high grass full of wild flowers and the sunset we had in the end was the most touching reward.

More pictures go to our Flickr Page

Mojca and Damjan – Slovenia


This is the beatiful drawing that Pija, Mojca and Damjan’s daughter, dedicated to us before coming back home to Slovenia. And below the nice words her mother sent us.

“Dear Laura,
Thank you very much for your hospitality and kindness during our stay at your property!

I have to say once more, it was really our good choice and we really
enjoyed in wonderful nature, your hospitality, delicious breakfasts, rooms
comfort. Because of that, our short holidays were  really relaxing.

Thanks again and with pleasure I will recommed your address to anyone of
our friends, comming to spend some days in Toscana.

Wishing you all the best – to you and your family!

Mojca, Damjan, Domen and Pija”