On my way home yesterday evening (Friday) I stopped at the grocery store across the street from home to get groceries, like fruit, cheese, cookies and such, but I also purchased an Italian Stone Pine (Pinus pinea) to decorate for Christmas. We're getting well into the month of November, so that season is not all that far away. This particular pine is native to southern Europe from Spain to Greece and as far north as central and northern France. Its got another name too, the Umbrella Pine, which is a suitable name as the older, well-established trees look just like that, an umbrella. If you ever seen photos or movies set in Italy as a example, you may have seen them, or perhaps you've been to southern Europe in which case, you've probably seen them first-hand. The one I have must be at least ten years old which would account for the price of 30 dollars! Anyways, it makes an excellent Christmas tree that will live year after year and become an even better specimen as the years pass.
Back in southern Ontario I bought an Italian Cypress tree one Christmas, December 1999 I believe, a tree I still had when I sold the house in the summer of 2005. The tree had blue-green foliage and spent its time outside on the front steps before being taken inside in the autumn to be set in the front bay window. In December it would be decorated for Christmas. In the spring I would put it outside once again to start the cycle once again. I also had a trailing Majorcan Rosemary plant that spent the summer outside, again to the side of the front steps, and then would be in bloom with light blue flowers by the time I took it inside in September. That one would be in flower all winter in the front bay window. Those plants remained with the new owner of the house. I hope they've been well cared for!
Here in British Columbia's lower mainland, I did purchase an Italian Cypress tree for last Christmas but it only has green foliage. I find the blue-green foliage and its varying shades much more appealing. Its almost a year past and its still growing strong as is the Pointsettia that I bought last Christmas as well!
So you must be wondering what's with all these hot guys and their well-developed muscles? Well, they're reminiscent of the hot, dry climate of southern Europe, so they're rather suitable, don't you think? I'll let you guess who the last guy might be. I'm sure you can come up with an answer, so let me know your thoughts! Meantime, have an awesome weekend!!! - V
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