We are now in the throws of high summer or Ferragosto here in Italy and the 15th of August traditionally marks the end of the hardest work in the fields. All good Italians have headed off to the beach or the mountains and days are filled with picnics - aggh not so here though. We have a whole host of pressing jobs on our 'orto' or vegetable garden and many smaller jobs to do for clients and the issue of hydration is crucial in the heat. Formal vegetable gardens require daily maintenance in order to retain their neatness and clearing away dry leaves from paths, corners etc also keeps the risk of fire down in hot climates. We are already planning winter planting and are now putting pen to paper in the form of a rose garden designed for contemplation, we will be taking inspiration from traditional monastic and sacred roman gardens. Below are a few pictures of some stunning plants thriving in the Tuscan summer.