As an American, I used to take wide open spaces for granted. There is SO MUCH space in the United States, we think nothing of huge houses, wide-laned roads, massive cars, and yards that go on and on. Here in Europe, however, where space is at a premium, roads are narrow, cars are small, and most people live in apartments, a garden is a bit less of a commodity.
When searching for our dream home, a manageable outdoor space where our kids could play and we could grow some vegetables, where we could invite friends for barbecues and throw up a hammock was definitely on the list. We’d visited a house that had a huge outdoor space with a terraced hill, a workshop (to be completely redone, but still!), all of which bordered on a babbling brook. My heart pounded with desire as we looked around the property. But the house… to say the house was absolutely impossible (questionably legal in some areas) is an understatement! And we’d seen so many like it. My heart broke. Fast forward 8 months later, we’d all but given up our search when Luciano just happened upon our current property. We were the first to see it. A charming wooden gate led down some stairs which had planters to one side, all the way to the front door. Two magnificent Daturas all in bloom greeted me. A bit further on, the prune and peach tree were full of blooms and I could hear the river from that top terrace. We took another flight of stairs down to the 100m2 garden and my ears were no longer hearing what the agent was saying to me. All I could hear was the voice in my head screaming “Oh PLEASE let the interior of the house not be too unfortunate!!!”
We took a big leap of faith on the house itself, but the garden has been my saving grace these difficult past 3 years. The fresh air, almost year-round flowers, the burgeoning LIFE under every rock and leaf, and the river have calmed every exasperation and dried every tear. Plus I’m sure our neighbors have had no END of laughs watching these 2 city slickers take a stab at vegetable gardening… What a dream come true.