First Allium opening

I have never grown Allium schubertii before, the first one is just opening now.  All the other Alliums are also just beginning to show some colour, I’m sure next week I’ll post some photos of them all.  It rained during the night but is sunny and warm today.

Allium schubertii, just opening

Rosa mutabilis

Rosa Mutabilis is such good value in the garden.  This year it began flowering by bloom day (April 11th) and the bushes are now full of flower.  Each flower is simple but changes colour from light apricot-yellow to copper-pink to deep pink; three colours for the price of one plant.  It does need careful thought to combine it with other plants.  I have chosen Hemerocallis sirocco in sunset shades, I will have to wait and see whether this works or not.  I have also been looking at tulips for next year and maybe Fringed Lambada? Or the single late Dordogne might be good as it is described as changing from claret rose to nasturtium tangerine; if they don’t work I can always cut them for inside the house.  Here it is in its various stages of colour:

Here are some views of the borders rather than just individual flowers.  I am pleased with the shapes of the island and drive borders – using hose pipe to mark the beds (Beth Chatto style) has certainly proved a success.

who needs flowers?

The drive border

I’m about to add a page about the vegetable garden, please look and then tell me about your favourite varieties.

Wisteria and planting vegetables

The Wisteria began flowering at Easter and is now in full bloom, I may have said before that Tulips are my favourite flower but Wisteria certainly comes a very close second.

Wisteria 'profusion' being just that, prolific

Rosa mutabilis began to flower for Bloom day, and the bushes are now covered with flowers, but the first ‘real’ rose flowered on 15th April.  It has a lovely sweet perfume.

On the east side of the terrace there are white wisteria

Rosa Conrad Ferdinand Meyer

Last weekend, 17th and 18th April I bought andplanted plug plants in the orto, vegetable garden.   I planted aubergine, purple and green basil, courgettes, cucumbers, hot chilli peppers and red and yellow bell peppers (I choose square shaped ones that are good for stuffing or making Piedmonte peppers, I’ll add alink to the recipe when I make the dish for the first time this year.  I found beefsteak tomatoes and pachino (which are small, very tasty, plum shaped tomatoes and a local tomato from Lake Bolsena that I’m assured is the best salad variety!  I’m planning to buy some heritage variety vegetables too, if I don’t run out of space.  I also planted three types of lettuce.  I’m going to try sweetcorn which is actually very difficult to buy here – it is considered animal feed and actually when you do find them that is all they’re good for as they are usually as hard as bullets and not sweet at all.  my seed is a bit old so may not germinate, fingers crossed.

I will add a page to the blog with more details about the vegetable garden and when crops begin etc.

The other evening there were very black clouds over Viterbo with the evening sun shining allowing me to take this very atmospheric photo.

April bloom day

White Dream tulips in the formal borders at the front of the house, they will be followed by Allium and then Perovskia that last until the first frost (I’m not thinking about that now!)  they were planted in October 2008 (I now know that actually tulips should be planted here in late November or December).  I am very happy they have flowered for a second year and I will now buy more this autumn to plant in the other two formal beds.

Click here to see what was flowering on 11th April


my first ever Paeonia flower

This Peony plant was the first plant given to me when I began my garden here in 2007 and last week it flowered for the first time. It is very beautiful.  Not far from Viterbo is a peony farm – I wouldn’t call it a nursery because they don’t grow the plants just to sell but also produce cosmetics from the roots.  They have tree and herbaceous peonies, click here to see which were in flower on Saturday.

Tulips, tulips, tulips

tulipa White Dream in formal beds

It is possible that tulips are my favourite flower.  they come in so many wonderful colours and forms and their leaf colours combine well with other foliage in the spring garden.

This is the first Parrot tulip I have grown, its very impressive.

Tulipa acumilator

These have regrown from last year, they're Tulip Abu Hussan

These are tiny, just their heads out of the ground, I think I planted them a bit deep!

Tulip Burgandy Lace