Italy vs. Scotland

A columnist for the <a href=";entry_id=1648" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Shetland Times</a> writes about the ongoing competition between Tuscany and Shetland, Italy vs. Scotland, and seems to think that Tuscany may be winning, what with their better climate for growing cactus.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">After 30 years in Shetland we could probably put up with a touch of Tuscan winter damp, and there’s nothing wrong with alcoholic neighbours during their sober spells.<br />
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The turf around the house is dotted with the marbled leaves of Arum italicum and there are bound to be other treasures. Cyclamen for one, and wild narcissi. I could grow my collection of cacti and succulents as they should be grown. Planted deeply into well-drained sandy soil where they can reach the heights and girths they want to be, rather than remain dwarfed by the straightjackets of containers.</span><br /></div><br />It’s a pleasant enough article, you should go read it. And it is true, the climate in Tuscany is perfect for cactus, whereas Scotland – not so much. Darkness, dreariness, fog, rain, old castles with tiny windows. Of course, I’ve never been to Tuscany. No wait, that’s not true. I spent a week there once. But that was in Firenze, back when I was an architecture student, not out in the countryside where they grow all that cactus.<br /><br />

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February 2024

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