Friday, August 3, 2012

Meet the Settipani's

When I first put out the word that I was in need of some local backyard gardeners to visit & share their stories with fellow gardeners, Matt and Mary Lou Settipani invited me over to their home in the Trask St. area of Gloucester. They brought me out to their backyard, and showed me their lovely flower gardens first, pointing out the plants currently in bloom, as well as the spring flowers that have gone by, and the fall flowers yet to come.

This red beauty is currently in bloom, however neither I, not Matt and Mary Lou are able to identify it.  We are hoping somebody out there knows what it is.  What we do know is that it is a bulb, and Matt has been bringing the bulb in each winter.  We are hoping that one of you will be able to identify it for us!

Next Matt brought me over to his perfect vegetable garden.  It is beautiful, weed free, in perfect rows, and everything is producing magnificently!  The Settipani's grow lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, bush beans, zucchini and garlic in the veggie garden (and have strawberries, parsley and basil  in hanging pots.)  The lettuce has all been harvested, and in it's place Matt has planted another crop of bush beans, so he will have continuous beans for several months.

After our tour of the gardens, Matt and Mary Lou invited me to sit with them on the tented deck overlooking the yard, and served me some of their homemade white wine and fried zucchini Mary Lou made up just before my arrival (both delicious!)  We chatted about our gardens, what we had the most success with, and what area gives us trouble, and shared tips.  Matt stated that weeding was the most difficult task, and admitted that he had spent several hours Saturday morning weeding the gardens for my photo shoot.  I took a little bit of joy in his  admission, because there are always weeds in my gardens, and as I mentioned earlier, there wasn't a lone weed in Matt & Mary Lou's garden.

The Settipani's have been married for 31 years, and have been gardening since they were first married.  Mary Lou's father, Jerry Scola was an avid gardener, and taught Matt and Mary Lou how to have a successful city garden.  Mary Lou shared how her dad, a Gloucester fisherman, used to bring home the fish remains to fertilize his garden.  What those old school gardeners knew, we are all learning again, I swear by Neptune's Harvest Fertilizer,  same idea!

I asked Matt and Mary Lou what it was about gardening that kept them at it all of these years.  Matt said he enjoys spending time outside, and how it helps clear his mind.  Mary Lou was of a similar opinion, "It is like a breath of fresh air for my brain" she said. Before I left, the Settipani's gave me two lovely green peppers right from the garden, oh and they were quite tasty for dinner the next day!

 Matt and Mary Lou have promised to share some of their zucchini recipes with us, so look for them posting here soon!  Thanks for the wonderful hospitality Matt & Mary Lou, and sharing your garden with us!!!!


  1. Nice story MATTTTTTTTTTTT!

  2. Wonderful post! Thanks for setting such great example Mary Lou and Matt! Martha Perry

  3. These are my neighbors and I have always admired them for their organized yard and gardens! Nice to see you here.