Blog: Italy – my new home?
As long as I can remember, I have always had an affinity and liking for flowers, and gardening. Growing up in West Texas, I have a distinct memory of helping my parents plant the yearly spring flowers in our front yard. This process was a ceremony that started with a conversation at the dinner table to discuss what we needed to purchase, followed with a trip to either a local nursery or places such as Lowes and Home Depot. We would always prefer to buy from local merchants as Dad explained, these plants were adapted to the west Texas semiarid climate. We would plant different ornamentals and among them, were Marigolds. Marigolds thrived at our house and bloomed longer than the expected period. As Dad pointed out, this beautiful flower was well adapted to our soil and dry climate. It seems that it was a plant bred specifically to thrive in West Texas heat.
On my trip to Italy, I was under the assumption that I would encounter different types of exotic plants and flowers that I had never seen before. However, upon our arrival to Castiglion Fiorentino, I was pleasantly surprised to find a familiar flower, i.e., Marigolds in this beautiful foreign land. This affected me in many ways and immediately reminded me of my experience of planting Marigolds in our home and as such, it was a connection to a pleasant experience of my childhood.
Marigolds or Tagetes Patula comes in a variety of colors, red gold, and yellow. The plant is quite hardy and can be planted in full sun or partial shade locations. They require very little water making it the perfect flower for areas such as Tuscany or Texas. It has desirable traits to heat and water stress and at the same time maintains a beautiful flower.
The connection of this Marigold plant to my childhood and the ability for this particular plant to thrive in both places, Texas and Castiglion Fiorentino helped me to a mindset to adapt and be geared towards my stay in Italy. If this little flower can do it, so can I! The connection to the Marigold plant to the memories that it stirred within will carry on as this adventure in Italy catalyzes my traveling bug and I continue to learn about different cultures.