GBFD – Evergreens and Greys

At this time of year in the northern hemisphere it is the foliage that sustains interest in the garden.

Yes, there are some flowers and they may be what give us that little flutter of the heart when we see a lone bloom braving the cold to open for us; but that quickening of the heart aside it is the foliage that forms the background to that solitary flower.

A lone bloom of Solanum jasminoidese album, but it is the mass of rich green foliage that you see

A lone bloom of Solanum jasminoidese album, but it is the mass of rich green foliage that you see

Having some evergreen foliage in the garden is a must for winter structure, fading into the background in summer; it demands our attention in winter; with evergreen I include ever-silver which forms much of the structure of my Mediterranean garden.  Lavender, Euphorbia, the Olive trees, these give the bones to my garden and form a gentle background to bleached colours in summer too.

I won’t show you images of the formal garden, you can see that on almost all my recent posts; many of you kindly commented that the images in the snow showed how strong the structure.

Let me show you some of the plants and areas of the garden that are looking particularly good at the moment.

As you come in the gate, the Euphorbia mysenites and small Agave catch the eye

As you come in the gate, the Euphorbia mysenites and small Agave catch the eye

Followed by prostrate Rosemary which is growing to cover the tuffo wall

Followed by prostrate Rosemary which is growing to cover the tuffo wall

As you continue up the drive, Euphorbias attract your attention

As you continue up the drive, Euphorbias attract your attention

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A little further up the drive the slope looks like this.  The stream of more prostrate Rosemary has filled out and is now making quite a statement.

Further up still and the view stretches accross the epth of the garden

Further up still and the view stretches accross the depth of the garden

I must admit to being very pleased with the above view of the garden, even in January it is full of colour, texture and form almost all from the foliage plus a few points of interest from some seed heads and berries.

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On the other side of the garden Box balls and rounded humps of Thyme give a different structure, sadly the loss of the two larger balls due to the drought last summer have left some gaps that I haven’t decided how to fill, you can just see the indentation where one of the box was planted.

Acanthus mollis under the mulberry tree

Acanthus mollis under the mulberry tree

In summer the area under the Mulberry tree is in deep shade; in winter sun-light filters through the stems and branches of the tree onto the large green leaves of Acanthus mollis.  This plant is a bit of a thug, self-seeding indiscriminately around and with tap roots that dig deep into the rock under the small amount of top-soil.

What pleasure is the foliage in your garden giving you?  What difference is it making in your garden?  To join in please just leave a comment with a link to your post, thank you.

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and then it started to snow!

After some mild, wet days today was bitingly cold and at about 4.30 it began to snow.

The following images were taken at 5pm when it was almost dark but I just wanted to share the initial magic, I’m hoping it will all be gone by tomorrow.

Looking down from the bedroom window

Looking down from the bedroom window

20130117_9999_6 blogLooking out from the sitting room window.

I didn’t want to go out and spoil the virgin snow with my footsteps, if the snow does remain, I’ll venture out tomorrow.

GBBD – More hangers-on than new blooms

Not much has been happening in the garden, hence no posts.  But there are a few blooms out there.  Not much new except I found this Anemone coronaria de Caen; I planted these bulbs without much hope of success as I’ve tried them before and none have ever grown.  Maybe all the rain in the autumn encouraged them to grow, anyway this one is about to open its bud, the colour is supposed to be deep pink but from the colour I can see, I don’t think that will be true.

Anemone coronaria de Caen

Anemone coronaria de Caen

Several roses have buds and even open flowers; Rosa Stanwell perpetual is showing that it is truly perpetual as long as it has enough water.

Rosa Stanwell perpetual

Rosa Stanwell perpetual

Rosa Clair Martin

Rosa Clair Martin

R. China pink

R. China pink

The weather has been changeable. Rain, mild temperatures, we were even able to have lunch on the terrace on Saturday, but cold temperatures are forecast for the end of this week (minus 6°C is promised so I must turn off the water going to taps around the garden and open the taps so they aren’t damaged (last year I missed one and the whole tap sort of exploded).

More in keeping with the season are Teucrium fruticosa, Prostrate rosemary and the beautiful Iris unguicularis.

Teucrium, a winter stallwart

Teucrium, a winter stallwart

Rosemary flowers for most of the winter

Rosemary flowers for most of the winter

Iris

Iris unguicularia

Pretty violas, in a pot I can see from the kitchen window, show their smiling faces and always make me smile.

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Viburnum tinus has a few buds just beginning to open and Eleagnus is still attracting and insects that are in the garden with its strong perfume.

A few plants are just plain confused, Ceanothus and Osteospernum shouldn’t be flowering now, nor should this Salvia!

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Salvia, side ways, sorry!

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Even a Hemerocallis is doing its best to open its untimely bloom

Even a Hemerocallis is doing its best to open its untimely bloom

A very happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, January 2013, to all my fellow bloggers.  Thanks to Carol for hosting; why not check out  at May Dreams for other posts to bring a little sunshine into our lives.