Most of you must have read by now the n.81 issue of TMG, where an article about La Mortella, written by Maurizio Usai, was published. Now, many of you have already met on Facebook the wondrous and eclectic Maurizio (and if you have not, check his page la pietra rossa
and specially have a look at the photographs). I just wanted to acknowledge his due to Filippo Marroccoli, the author of the two sketches, that did not come very clear on the printed paper, but are really lovely in real life. Filippo is a garden designer, plantsman, watercolor sketcher, an artist in his soul, who gardens in a very unpromising soil in Altamura, south of Italy, where he developed - all on his own- a whole range of watersaving and design principles that exactly mirror the mission of the Mediterranean Garden Society. The story goes, that when he moved into this place he had in mind a very standard kind of garden, but then he found out that the yard next to his farm-house was made by a layer of crushed stone that had been covered in asphalt and concrete at some point: it had looked green, when he bought he property, only because weeds were growing in the cracks, but there was no soil whatsoever. And there was very little water available, too. So he had to try a different approach to gardening, and while he was removing the asphalt - a back breaking work- he also studied the landscape around his place, and started to roam the mountains and fields in the neighborhood to collect native plants. So he slowly built a lovely, waterwise garden, that was soon to be followed by a very specialized nursery. His website is this: http://www.filippomarroccoli.it/
, have a look a the catalog to realize what I am talking about! if you scroll down the pages there is an English version too. I hope to convince him to come to the AGM in October and meet members and tell his stories, he has so much to share!