October 10, 2015
It’s two-and-a-half weeks since I got back from Puglia and the rhythms of the new season are everywhere; the morning light is bright but diffused; the heat sporadic sometimes tee-shirt warm and sometimes sweat-shirt cold. Summer has slipped into memory.
Puglia, like Naples and Pellaro, is not a place I would go back to. The Valle d’Itria, with its other-worldly trulli, its white cities, its cucina povera, is too far off the beaten track and not interesting enough for a return trip.
The image on the left is the shift from Puglia-travel to being back home. The two trees were originally in plastic bonsai pots. I often kept the pots on the ground to prevent the soil from drying out. With these two pots, the plants started growing into the soil and I let them. I now have a 60 foot red-wood and an umbrella shaped long-needled pine. I removed the pot from the red-wood years ago – its footprint is like a giant’s 40 inch hand with fingers 6 to 8 inches in diameter. But I had kept the pot on the long-needled pine. I liked pointing out that the huge umbrella shaped pine had started in a bonsai pot, but the pot was no longer flat on the ground, rather it tilted with the lean of the umbrella branches. And for someone who likes symmetry, order and harmony the lean upset the feng shui of the garden.
The other day, I decided to cut the pot and surround the root-ball with the blue stones from Connie’s cottage. The stone necklace corrected the lean and cleaning the root-ball of its soil shows all its gnarly tentacles. The long-needled pine now looks to grow out of the white marble chips. The visual harmony has been restored