Saturday, 22 June 2013

A tale of two cities...

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you will probably already know that Salzburg is one of my favourite cities on earth...& even if you haven't, the name of the blog would probably give you a clue anyway! I have been going there for almost 24 years and recently paid my 29th visit to this jewel of a place...

We usually go when it's wintery and freezing...



no less beautiful for that, of course...and filled with excuses to duck into one of the many cafes & restaurants for hot coffee, schnapps & a slice of something delicious...



It is so very cold, though...






not many people about...



everything in shades of grey & white....everybody well wrapped against the bitter chill...



and really, it's nicest to be indoors...tucked in at a beautiful table overlooking the icy views...









So this last trip was as though we were in a different city in many ways!



30c, barely a cloud in the blue sky...everywhere GREEN & full of flowers and birdsong...












Too hot to be outside at midday! Glorious was the only word. A run along the banks of the Salzach river early on a summer's morning...hazy blue mountains in the distance and emerald hills all around...is one of the experiences I will carry with me always.
A friend's beautiful garden was transformed from a snowy handkerchief of land last time into...



a serene place of flowers, trees and velvet lawns..
This freezing view (taken at the water mill which powers Europe's oldest bakery)...



comes to life in the summery glow...



I love this city whatever the season or weather...but it was a wonderful change to bask in the heat of the early summer sun and see a different side to it.
Some things, however, never change....I'm delighted to say...



this silent spectre oversees every event that takes place in 'his' square throughout the year...









The shops that line the narrow, ancient cobbled streets always display their uniquely Austrian wares...



The white & gold baroque concert halls resonate year round with the sound of beautiful orchestras, voices, quartets & soloists...
And most of all, of course, people visit this perfect, romantic & glorious place primarily for one reason...



to see this tall, yellow building where Wolfgang Amadeus was born 257 years ago! Salzburg is the city of Mozart. He is why I first came here, and why I shall always return. I don't always go into the house on every visit now. But I do, without fail, look up at the windows and think of the tiny child who started his too short life here & who has touched so many lives the world over for so long.

In many ways, Salzburg was unappreciative of her most famous son during his lifetime. But I feel that she's more than made up for that mistake since!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend...here is a rose from my garden for you..



Xo

Friday, 7 June 2013

Gorgeous June & why I live where I live...

Summer seems finally to be here...it felt like the longest winter ever, barely changing into spring before the rosebuds began to form, the air mellowed, the light softened and suddenly...unbelievably...it's June!



I don't think that it's done the garden much harm, being chilly and wet for so long...everything has emerged at the right time for once, and looks all the better for it...






I have been fighting a running battle with snails in the last few weeks. They adore our walled garden...hiding in the clematis, in the iris roots, under the sculptures...they wait for dark and then they emerge to MUNCH! However annoying this is, I cannot bring myself to kill a snail...something about their inquisitive little horns, their beautiful shells...the alive-ness of them. Plus I would never use slug or snail pellets which, apart from the horrible deaths, are bad for the birds & Alice also likes to drink from the saucers beneath the pots (even though the little madam refuses to drink from her real water bowl if the water isn't changed twice a day!!) Although I have had some success with putting crushed eggshells around the plants...also copper tape seems to work around some pots (but not others) ...really, the only way to vanquish them is to go out after dark with a flashlight and pick them off as they eat!
Then I send them on holiday to a far corner of the churchyard...which is wild and overgrown and full of delicious weeds & trees to climb! The first night I counted 84! But by last night this was down to 4... So it definitely works. And the plants, the snails and I are all happy!



Niles is wading in the day lilies now...



There will be a good crop of strawberries soon...






Hostas are the snails favourite snack...now they can flourish in peace!



I love these sweet violas...



Verbena...



My favourite flower in the world..my beloved bought some bulbs for me, so I can enjoy them outside as well as in. Anemones are so gorgeous...






These little columbines love partial shade, which makes them very useful...as well as beautiful...



Heucheras are divine...these dark ones and the paler versions too..









and herbs, herbs, herbs....a garden can never have enough in my opinion!
So that's a little of the garden right now. What about the other part of the title of this post? Why I live where I live? Well...









Does that answer the question??
Apologies for the late update to the blog...life is a whirl right now...all will be revealed soon, I promise! But until then, I hope you are having a wonderful start to the summer too..maybe sunbathing a little, like Alice...



and thanks so much for reading xo