Garden Bloggers Bloomday, March 2011

This month the garden is really coming back to life.  Not just individual flowers are blooming but areas of the garden are beginning to form ‘pictures’.

Large Island bed

Euphorbia myrsinites


Euphorbia rigida

The first ‘stream’ to flower on the slope was prostrate rosemary

Prostrate Rosemary

and now the Muscari planted here are beginning to look as I imagined they would.

A stream of Muscari

Looking down from the top of the slope

Daffodils begin late here, I think that is because they need a period of cold to prompt them into growth and that doesn’t happen until December or January in this part of Italy.  In fact these tulips were open even before the daffodils!  They are the sign that spring really is here (this morning it was 10° at 6.30 whereas last week the temperature was hovering around zero at that time of the morning and for much of the morning.

Daffodils by the drive

There are a couple of surprise plants flowering all be it just a couple of flowers; this tiny, flowered Geranium began flowering last week – it is spreading very slowly under Rosa Tradescant, and a prostrate Ceonothus that I want to propagate to have as more excellent ground cover on the slope.

Ceaonothus repans

Another plant I didn’t expect to be flowering was this Buddleia Silver Anniversary

nor this little succulent bravely searched for the sun today with its tiny crimson petals

Viburnum tinus

Viburnum tinus is just beginning to open its tight pale pink buds – this is another plant that behaves entirely differently in Italy to the UK.  I always considered it a great value plant; flowering from October to spring, evergreen foliage always looking good and some nice black berries in summer if you’re lucky – here, though it flowers in March for about one month then the dead flowers and the foliage look horrendous for about 2 months and although it is evergreen it doesn’t exactly fill the heart with joy during the winter. Let me know how this plant grows in your garden in your part of the world.

Long flowering Lonicera fragrantissima is still perfuming the air right by the drive where it welcomes us home as we get out of the car.  I think it will be over by next month’s Bloomday, as it isn’t a beautiful plant during summer I will try to think of a suitable small scrambler to flower over it during the summer months, sadly not clematis as they need too much water – maybe some kind of annual would be interesting.

Lonicera fragrantissima

Clematis armandii began flowering with a few tentative blooms a couple of weeks, now many of the buds are open; last weekend in the high winds the tendrils looked like they were tenaciously hanging on for grim death to the supporting wires today they are happily opening more buds.

Periwinkle adds a blue note to the bottom of the bay hedge.

Arabis spreads its white flowers like a flurry of snow under the pomegranate towards Box balls.

Seed grown Arabis

Teucrium continues to bloom and grow.  This is a plant that does very well and is useful as it is lovely and airy if left to grow unchecked or will become a strong form if tightly pruned into a ball or I’ve  also seen it beautifully grown as a serpentine hedge (now where could I plant one of those?).

Teucrium fruticans

This morning the sun is slowly breaking through the cloud and I need to finish cutting back and tying in the Raspberries – yes, I know I’m very late doing this but better late than never.

Thanks as usual to Carol at Maydreams garden for hosting GBBD for March, take a look at what’s flowering in gardens all over the world by visting her.

18 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Bloomday, March 2011

  1. I love your “streams” on the slope. They will be lovely in full flower.
    Thanks for visiting my garden. Beehive ginger is Zingiber spectabile. It dies back in winter a fair bit and flowers in Summer. It likes warm weather but would probably survive a winter in a greenhouse.

    • Thanks for getting back to me with the name of the plant – its not even in my RHS encyclopedia, but I’ll find it on line, I’m sure. Theidea for the slope planting is drifts of plantswith streams running through, this its its first year as it was planted last autumn.

  2. A serpentine hedge of Teucrim sounds wonderful Christina, and I love your hyacinth stream. You have so many lovely things coming in to flower, though it is strange to see the daffodils and tulips sharing space. The arabis is lovely, I looked it up but can’t quite see how I could give it a good home in my current garden. The euphorbia rigida similarly needs alkaline soil which I can’t offer, but it looks wonderful in your Island bed. My cerinthe seedlings are, as ever, hopelessly leggy, I never seem to succeed with them. I shall just have to admire yours instead!

    • Thank you for your kind comments. The first time I grew Cerinthe from seed they were leggy, then they self seeded and grew well, exactly the same thing happened when a friend grew them here; all you see in my garden – and there are a lot – are the result of these. All self seeded and not leggy, although the lower leaves go yellow very quickly so they will only be allowed to grow on the slope in future years, I just move the seedlings from where they grow.

  3. Isn’t it lovely to watch a garden waking up? I’m particularly fond of your Clematis armandi. I’m going to keep your garden “streams” in mind as I install new plants this year. Happy GBBD.

    • Thanks for stopping by Isabelle, I do irrigate the roses; some just once a week and others, (newer additions) a little more. Actually roses grow very well and respond well with good growth that matures well in autumn; I think that with irrigation they grow better here than in the UK! R. mutabilis flowered for 9 months last year and is already full of bud. Viterbo has cold winters and wet autumns and spring.

  4. My cerinthe are only just showing their leaves. I find it fascinating how your flowers whilst similar to what I grow flower at different times, particularly daffodils after tulips. It was nice to see a shot of another part of your garden

    • My Cerinthe keep their leaves all winter, they are actually late this year – last year they were flowering in February. The daffodils are not so much after the tulips but at the same time. The pleasure of the tulips is yet to come.

  5. I found myself really enjoying the subtle blues of your early spring garden. It’s a lovely, rare color, and a calming way to welcome the upcoming growth spurt in the garden.

    • Thanks James, your colours are all sun bleached which I suppose is normal for the desssert, that comes later for us – today is heavy rain and soft light. GBBD gives us all the chance to enjoy all the seasons around the world.

  6. Pingback: GBBD March 2012 «

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