Roses in winter

It's been quite a year -- drought in Tuscany this summer, bitter cold now on the US east coast, and that's just what's happened in our gardens! But today in Maggie's Tuscan garden the sun lit up a rose that had just bloomed -- in December! In my garden, the weather was warm enough a few days ago that we finally cut back the irises, and seedheads on my tea tray look just like baby birds waiting to be fed.

Maggie and I laughed about what is hanging on, what needs to be pruned, and what we are looking forward to in the new year. Sending love and wishes for a happy, healthy, blooming new year to you! Buon capodanno!

Post script - Maggie wrote a lovely blog post about New Year's Eve in Tuscany, you can read it here.

Frost and hope

Maggie just returned to Tuscany after a week in Berlin, where her husband Joel Meyerowitz has a photography retrospective. I was eager to hear about her trip -- and also yearned for her wisdom about where we might find hope in the winter garden. The morning's frost on the fields outside her window gave us both inspiration, as did a poem Maggie keeps on her desktop, by Pablo Neruda:

I sat in the garden
by the great drops of
and it seemed to me
that beneath all that
that crumbled solitude, 
the roots were still at
with no one to
encourage them.

Photo for this episode by Joel Meyerowitz. You can find out more about Joel's retrospective here.

Longing for Rain

I reached Maggie in her Tuscan attic studio on a late fall afternoon, and if you listen closely towards the end you can hear a riot of birds outside her window. Both our gardens spent the past several months longing for rain.

Lavender and Time

The cicadas are singing their love songs, the lavender has just been cut back, and Maggie and Julie think about how time passes differently in the garden.

Peonies, cuttings, love: Two Gardens

The roses are in bloom in Maggie Barrett's Tuscan garden, the peonies are about to open in mine, and we talked about the stories that are embedded in their beauty.