End of the Month View – May 2012

I’m joining Helen the Patient Gardener for this month’s review of what’s happening in the garden this month.

Here in Italy May is the month when everything flowers!  I remember the first time I saw a garden at this time of year I thought it looked fake (like at Chelsea flower show) with plants that would be flowering a month or so apart all flowering together.  This is lovely but it does mean that everything is also over very quickly.  Many plants go into summer hibernation if there is a drought and usually there is no rain from June until mid-August or even September.

For that reason I’ve been posting every day this month and even doing this there are many plants that haven’t appeared in a post.  For June I don’t intend posting everyday but will try for a couple of posts a week.

This month I’d like to share with you a small area I’m developing within the upper drive border.  Below is an image from above; the area starts at an Arbutus tree to the left and continues around to just in front of a holly bush.

Looking down from the attic window

Last autumn I decided to increase the variety plants with crimson flowers here.  In winter I moved Rosa L.D. Braithwaite which was quite small and seems to have moved satisfactorily and has flowered.  I purchased some Asters of different heights and forms and added those to the mix; I need an area that focuses on late summer- early autumn blooms.  I also moved a Penstemon that my friend Linda from Garden in the West gave me in the form of some cuttings she carefully carried from her garden when she visited 2 years ago.  The one that survived has made a good plant and is flowering freely now.  I will take some more cuttings so I can increase the clump size.

There’s still lots of bare earth but it will soon fill in.

Above: Rose L.D. Braithwait

A very hardy succulent type plant, which can become invasive, was also planted – I just broke off some pieces from those situated in the large island and planted them directly into the ground to form good ground cover.  Lychnis coronaria  is already scattered through the garden and I moved some of these to this border too, I like their small points of intense colour and the foliage is quite good too, even in winter.

and in close up

The above bright crimson salvia was a cutting taken from a friend’s plant, I love the colour.

Lychnis coronaria.

Achillea is also making a show, this will clump up quickly.

My intention is to plant some Barcelona tulips that I saw on Hillwards site, they look just the right colour, I also saw a smaller tulips of a similar colour on Julie’s post about her tulips  of again a very similar colour so hopefully the wow factor will last from early spring through summer and into autumn.

To finish here’s some views of the garden that are particularly lovely at the moment and some views of the slope that I have been showing in these end of month views up until now.

Looking accross the garden from the drive, the upper slope is to the right and the large island bed to the left, and you can just see the edge of the circular rose garden.

Looking accross the slope.

The upper drive border.

Below is the first humming bird hawk moth I’ve ever managed to photograph, there are usually lots in the garden but they move so fast, I’ve never had n image any where near in focus.

Advertisements

May feast – Sedum update

When I wrote about the greenhouse last weekend I mentioned that I had just taken some sedum stem and leaf cuttings; I’m happy to report that some have already started to grow some new leaves so that it very satisfying.  I had taken just 2 long stems from one Sedum ‘Matrona’ plant so that you can’t even see that the plant is any smaller than it was before.  The ‘Purple Emperor’ and another slightly curly edged leaf variety I took just one stem.  I will leave them to grow a little more before transferring them into larger pots.

I think I will try some more cuttings of the other varieties I have and some more of the purple leafed one that I find particularly useful in the large and small islands where I don’t irrigate at all.  If I really have a surplus I will plant some onto the slope.

This is a very satisfying sight

The leaf cutting on the left has a new leaf growing!

I will post some images ASAP, but I’m having real problems uploading anything at the moment.  For the same reason I’m even having problems leaving comments.  I am reading them and I’ll be leaving comments again very soon I hope.

May Feast – The circular rose bed

Rosa Tradescant

R. Tradescant, full of flower

This bed was planted in 2009.  It consists of 4 varieties of Rose, quartered in the bed; in the centre is a standard Fejoa.  Between the roses, and wanting to take over completely, are masses of Gaura lindheimeri.  In front of the Gaura is Stipa tenuissima and geranium that I think I would like to propagate to add in front of all of the roses for continuity.

Rosa William Shakespeare

Both Tradescant and William Shakespeare have a delicious perfume, quite intoxicating.

Rosa Queen of Sweden

R. Queen of Sweden is very upright in its growth, could almost be a pillar rose

Looking down (May 9th) the formal beds are to the left and the large island is in the forground, with the small island behind

Rosa Sophie’s Perpetual

Rosa Sophie’s Perpetual, the darker outer petals outline the inner paler ones

Overflowing