A tree obsession, or should I say a two-tree obsession?
November 20th, 2009
I did a lot of driving in Tuscany. More than I would have liked, just ask my girlfriends. Lots of to-ing and fro-ing between our remote villa and the train station in Chiusi about 45 minutes away. But there was one scene on the road between Trequanda and Sinalunga that caught my breath every time I drove past it and made the driving worth while.
Someone planted two lovely rows of trees on either side of a long driveway that ran perpendicular into the strada. And as I approached it, the classic, Renaissance-inspired pattern emerged, filling my line of vision with its elegance and storybook perfection.
Silhouetted against the Tuscan sky, or back-lit by the sun, stood the contrasting shapes of tall, slender Italian cypress trees (Cupressus sempervirens) and upward-sweeping, umbrella-like forms of Italian stone pines (Pinus pinea). The iconic forms alternate up one side of the drive and back down the other, ensuring a perfect display of two quintessentially Italian trees.
Thanks to the genius plantsman or woman who decided that these two trees – one, a spire; the other, a classic ovoid — should be grown together.
If ever I have enough land and live in the right climate, I’m going to replicate this gorgeous, satisfying, perfectly ordered pattern of trees. For now, I will share more photos. I stopped one morning and snapped oh-so-many views.
P.S., this is the pine tree from which those delicious pine nuts come from.