Friday, January 30, 2015

A Garden on the Palatine Hill

           This small garden is situated on the Palatine hill, that is the centermost of the seven hills of Rome, capital of Italy. The Palatine is one of the most ancient parts of the city.

I saw this ancient garden when I climbed the Palatine hill that is 40 m high. It wasn't easy but I got on the hilltop. Approaching closer to bushes I was looking for a potable water spring and I found a garden next to it.

Later I learned the legend that on the hilltop near this ancient spring there was a cave where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf that kept them alive. Having grown Romulus decided to build a new city on the banks of the river Tiber. This is how "Rome" got its name - from Romulus.

I've seen walls of ancient palaces and houses on Palatine hill and recent excavations show that the original Romans have lived on the Palatine since approximately 1000 BC.

Possible in those times a small garden could have been planted by them. There are fruit trees, bushes, grasses, roses, a pond and a small fountain. I think the Romans used water from a spring for watering the garden.


This accurate restoration shows us an ancient garden and the experience of ancient Roman gardeners.

Friday, January 23, 2015

One Day of a Year

Yesterday was frosty day, -15 C some time with the sun and no wind, It was my special day. Because once you realize that one year more has flown. They say that you feel as old as your soul feels old. Well, yesterday was my birthday and I can particularly not worry: my soul is still young
After wonderful breakfast it was time for gifts. One gift was a new orchid and lily, they're beautiful, aren't they?

The another one was a book or to more accurately say it's a pocket guide 'The Pocket Flower Expert' by D.G. Hessayon, an English writer (translation into Russian).
Here it is:

Although we all use Internet very much, sometimes we need a pocket book for plant identification in a nursery, Botanic gardens or in a market. I love its detailed paintings, photos and information about methods of flower growing, of diseases, care, potting and planting shown in this guide.

Before afternoon I had prepared cups for tea and coffee, blackcurrant jam, chocolate cookies, milk, teapot, etc. for birthday party and went with my friend to see the new exhibition in Hermitage museum. At the evening I took a seat at the table in the dining room, and had a great time eating a piece of 'sancho' cake, drank a glass of Chateau clinking: 'на здоровье!', enjoying my family and friends around me.

What do you think about pocket guide? You do still read books or use the internet only? Thank you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Old New Year

               Today is the Old new  year! What is this, you may ask. I'll tell you the history of two calendars. 
The most widely used calendar around the world is the Gregorian Calendar that was first introduced in 1582. Until that time many countries used the Julian Calendar. Russia had adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1918, while some other countries continued to use the Julian Calendar until 1923.

Why was Julian Calendar replaced? Because it introduced an error of 1 day every 128 years so currently the Julian Calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar. 

Even so the Julian Calendar is still used by the majority of Orthodox churches for ecclesiastical dates. Thus they celebrate Christmas on December, 25 on the Julian Calendar, which corresponds to January, 7 on the Gregorian Calendar.
Orthodox New year corresponds to January,14 on the Gregorian Calendar.
As in most countries which use the Gregorian calendar, New year's day in Russia is a public holiday. The Old New Year on January 14th is an informal traditional holiday, celebrated as the start of new year on the Julian Calendar, it is still informally observed. 

The tradition of celebrating the coming of the New Year twice is widely enjoyed: January 1 (New New Year) and January 14 (Old New Year).
As it's a weekday, at the evening my family and I have the Old New Year's dinner and blackcurrant cake. 

Happy Old New year, my dear friends!

More information here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January and Christmas

Orthodox Christmas is on January, 7th. After breakfast I've driven to my garden. It's my tradition to go there on Christmas eve furthermore I wanted to look at the plants covered with snow and at woods in January, as it has been the first time in this year. 
The sun was low, the forest was quiet, snow covered all roads and paths. The garden trellis were bared, transparent and snowbound. My small pines-niwaki behind the trellis and chokeberry bushes were covered with snow too, tits' twitter was only heard.

I shoveled the patio and the path to the gazebo and put sunflower seed in my new bird feeder made of a plastic bottle and hung at the gazebo. Tits immediately noticed that the feeder was filled and quickly began to fly and grab the seeds. It was frosty enough inside the cottage because nobody lives there now in winter. Look how nice the Santa's drawing on the window glass is!

I've soon realized that It was already 3pm and was getting dark. Although the sky was still blue but sunset has begun and I've needed to get back to the city. 

Coming home I've immediately laid the table: meat, veggies, salad and the cake with whipped cream, redcurrant jelly and kiwi; yesterday I also made cookies with nuts. Sitting in the dining room my family, friends and I celebrated Christmas enjoying a glass of good old red wine.

A Merry Christmas!

After a week we have Old New year. What this strange holiday is I'll write in my next post, bye for now!