Author Archives: christinemargerum

About christinemargerum

As a part-time community-college instructor, I have a double life: working and living a wonderful life in the U.S. 's best town ever (Berkeley); and living and working in the wonderful Umbrian countryside whenever I can. Husband Terry and daughters Ingrid and Nina play along.

Beyond the Umbrian Garden

It is springtime again in the Umbrian hills, and the green is intense after heavy winter rains and also some deep frost. All pruning, planting, weeding, and mulching is done, so I venture out beyond my roses, geraniums, jasmine, and … Continue reading

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The Pleasures of an Un-mowed Lawn

Here I am, back at Calboccia in late April. I hear that it hasn’t rained in the area for two months, yet all is green – the trees, the foliage of our sixty-some rose plants, and the grass of our … Continue reading

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Of Hornets, Bats, and Wasps

How I Learned to Appreciate Wasps Some years ago, a hornet nest was being crafted diligently and expertly inside our house wall by some of these noisy and frightening creatures.  When I asked our gardener Vittorio, a gentle and animal-loving … Continue reading

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Long Forgotten 1939 Vintage Hand Towels

77-year old hidden damask hand towels finally hit the laundry line for the first time! Seventy-seven years ago, in 1939, back when this story begins, my German grandparents were the proprietors of a country store named “Kaufhaus Angeln,” which offered … Continue reading

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Thoughts About Planting

I have written earlier that I would report on our planting process at Calboccia, but then I didn’t.  It took me some time to think about this because there is more to say than what  we are planting this winter … Continue reading

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We Adopted!

Last Christmas, our children presented us with the most thoughtful gift:  The adoption of a fruit tree of an ancient variety at the “Archeologia Arborea” in San Lorenzo di Lerchi in Umbria (, just a couple of kilometers west of … Continue reading

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We got re-adopted: The Cat Came Back!

  Extremely well-fed and now neutered, stray cat Bianchino has returned to Calboccia after half a year of absence.  Over last fall and early winter, he must have been taken in at a neighboring villa, where the owners stay around … Continue reading

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