Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cool stuff in Rome and some flowers

Everyone says Porta Portese market is pretty much tapped out for cool stuff, and I'm mostly in agreement. But it's still worth a stroll around, if you get there early enough. It closes around one, and if you show up at 11, you will think you're trapped in a remake of Soylent Green. Not for the crowd-ophobic.

But there are still a few things there worth taking pictures of, in the Old Stuff section. And I picked up a couple of sets of lace and net curtains to make some pretty mosquito netting for the new place.

For all your Busts of Emperors needs.

Actually, I was really tempted to get this one.

Some day, someone has to do a research project on the Madonellae, and then maybe a tour of the best ones. Rome, where you can't heave a paving stone without hitting some art.

There were two of these on the tree this year. The Big Lemon variety seems to take a really long time to ripen. They smell wonderful, but when you open them, you see they're mostly peel and pith.

The frogs have mostly disappeared for the year, but this fellow was out hunting the other night while I was walking home. You see a lot of these guys flattened on the roads. They really don't get the idea that you're supposed to run away from the Big Two-foots.

Took my wonderful new book out the other day for a stomp about.

Anyone know the Latin name for these things? They're not in my wildflower book, so I guess they're only a garden thing. The flowers are on to their second wave. The daffs and other early wildflowers have finished and we're getting the early summer crowd out now.

Santa Marinella spends about three months every year smelling of flowers. The Wisteria comes out first, then the stuff with shiny leaves and rather unattractive white flower bunches that smell heavenly. Not much to look at but people have huge ten foot hedges of it and in blooming season...well!

In May/June we get this stuff, walls of it.

I have finally figured out how to switch my camera over to a thing that will get extreme closeups.

This is a variety of wild garlic, Allium roseum. It's called Rosy Garlic because of the little red bulbils you can see here. These fall off and become the new bulb to grow a new plant. Our cultivated garlic doesn't do this, and cannot reproduce without human help. I pulled one of these up and the bulb was certainly very garlicky, but not as strong as the cultivated kind.

Don't know what these were.

They're not in my book, but aren't they pretty. Anyone got an idea?

Also not in the book, but clearly a type of flax. Possibly Linum bienne, or "Pale Flax".

Blue Hounds Tongue, Cynoglossum creticum. Mostly finished now, but there were still a few holding on at the very top of the hills. Interesting how different the varieties are just in the few hundred yards between the shore and higher up on the hills. There are almost no poppies up there, for example, but lots of things that you can't find lower down.

Every now and then, Rome reminds you that it still remembers. Graffiti on a wall at St. Peter's train station.

Took a tour with a friend the other day around the Vatican museums.

My favourite courtyard. Gregory called it some fancy thing in Italian, but it's obvious what the name ought to be.

The Courtyard of the Death Star.

Finally managed to get some decent shots of the Laocoon. As soon as I saw it, I started humming "It's a Small World After All".

Greg takes a question.

The hallowed Belvedere Torso.

I got multiple angles on this one, but I won't bore you with them. It's an art student thing.

Important rule whenever you're in a Roman building: Always look up.



Anonymous said...

That's a bottle brush tree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callistemon

- Karen

John said...

Yes, we always called the red one a bottle brush.

My friend Carlo had an arched gateway going into his back garden that was covered with the white-flowered plant shown in the 9th pic down. Like an arched grape arbour. Wonderful scent that filled that archway when it was in bloom. He called it honeysuckle but it didn't look like the plant we called honeysuckle when I was a boy. I expect he was right, though. He always was.



Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Well, it's not honeysuckle. amazing how many plants get called that though. I have a friend who was convinced that honeysuckle is what you call clover.

We've got loads of honeysuckle, which has elegantly long trumpet shaped flowers in clusters. Pink. I'll get pic.

no, the white stuff seems more like a variety of clematis.

Daniel A. said...

The red flower is called Bottlebrush...it seems it's genus name is Callistemon. It's from Australia originally.

The white one is what I always knew as Jasmine. My wife calls it Honeysuckle as well though. I'm not sure if it really is jasmine or not...wikipedia has a lot of pictures of different kinds of jasmine, and some of them look rather like what's in the picture and what people grow all over in California (where I am).

Daniel A. said...

A little more Wikipedia searching reveals that the white ones might be "Star Jasmine," (Trachelospermum) which is not actually related to jasmine and which is grown for its highly scented flowers.

John said...

Jasmine! Yes, that makes sense. And scents. I do believe he's got it.



Kris said...

Oh, thank you for the flowers, of course. (I'm glad you found your close-up feature!) But a big, big thank you also for showing us the Rome graffiti. As I float through this world looking for things we can still enjoy, that graffiti brought me back down to the solid footing of what "Rome remembers," as you put it. Lovely!

JohnB said...

...in a Roman building: Always look up.

Yes. Look up...

Look waaaaaay up!