Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – autumn growth

Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, the post where I urge you to consider and appreciate the benefits that foliage gives to your garden.

The more I learn from experience about the plants that grow in my garden here in central Lazio (about mid.way between Rome and Siena) the more I realise that growth patterns are totally different to the Southern England where I used to live – yes, I know that sounds obvious but the differences aren’t always what you would expect.

I learned quite early on that the commonly held view that Lavender doesn’t grow back from old wood is untrue here; I believe this is due to the much higher light levels but I haven’t performed any experiments to prove this. The same is also true of Lelandii; here they will grow back from hard pruning.

The greener growth on this lavender has grown back after the bush was hard pruned last spring

The greener growth on this lavender has grown back after the bush was hard pruned after flowering

Photinia was dark green all summer now the red new growth that I associate with spring shows just how quickly evergreen shrubs grow in autumn

Photinia was dark green all summer now the red new growth that I associate with spring shows just how quickly evergreen shrubs grow in autumn

The Photinia is a form of autumn colour that I didn’t expect.  Some colour like this is very welcome because the day and night time temperatures don’t vary enough here to make deciduous trees change from green to yellow or red or orange.

Quercus ilex has put on about 30cm of new growth since the autumn rains began in September

Quercus ilex has put on about 30cm of new growth since the autumn rains began in September

It is fortunate that the Holly oak  (Quercus ilex) does grow in autumn as the spring growth was badly damaged by a beetle that is prolific in spring but disappears when it becomes hot and doesn’t return until the following year.

On the slope there is a carpet of green; thousands of seedlings of Eschscholzia californica have germinated and many will survive the winter to flower in early spring, some are even flowering now.

Bright green new foliage = thousands of Californian poppy (Eschscholzia califormica)  seedlings

Bright green new foliage = thousands of Californian poppy (Eschscholzia californica) seedlings

Looking west from the terrace, this view is always more about form and mass than flowers

Looking west from the terrace, this view is always more about form and mass than flowers

I’m sure many of you will have some beautiful autumn colours in your gardens, I would love to see them! To join in this celebration of foliage all you need to do is link to and from this post.

I hope you are enjoying autumn as much as I am, Christina.

42 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – autumn growth

    • I don’t usually thin the poppies and if I do it won’t be until the spring just in case the winter is hard and some are lost. Thanks for joining me. I’m very much looking forward to seeing your autumnal foliage

  1. Its interesting you should say that about the lavender- mine is planted in a dutch wall-hence lots of light, and last year I pruned it hard (it had become very leggy) as a last resort, prior to getting rid of it. This year, there is lots of fresh re growth from the bottom, and a revived shrub! I love the promise of those poppy seedlings in your border.

  2. Pingback: GBFD – Autumn arrives | Glebe House Garden

  3. Pingback: Garden Bloggers Folage Day: True Colours…Are Beautiful | Rambling in the Garden

  4. Pingback: Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: True Colours… Are Beautiful | Rambling in the Garden

  5. In that last picture I can quite understand why you are enjoying autumn! It does look like you are getting some lovely weather. Not much growth here, except for the ivy! Those poppy seedlings do a great job of covering bare earth until they flower.

  6. Pingback: GBFD October ’16 « sorta like suburbia

  7. I’m glad to hear you’ve finally had a good soaking. What a difference it makes and I agree that just looking at all the dried and faded seedheads is just too depressing.
    We are seeing an entirely different change here, one which is more like going to sleep rather than waking up but I guess to each his own… or something like that. Honestly I much prefer the waking up part!
    Here’s my contribution, thanks for hosting

  8. I’ve grown lavender, though didn’t have luck cutting it back for fuller growth. I’m glad your experience is different. I have grown other woody shrubs that benefited from a hard pruning, though. The California poppies are a beautiful carpet for now–I hope you’ll share pics when they bloom! Thanks for hosting, my contribution focuses on some native Texas plants:

  9. I so enjoy this enlightening meme, Christina, thank you for hosting. I hope that one day I’ll organise myself to contribute, apart from a huge range of beautiful foliage, it raises so many pertinent questions. This summer a knowledgeable visitor suggested the 8/8/8 rule for trimming Lavender in the UK – to 8″ on the 8th day of the 8th month. Have you come across this?

  10. Although I was never an admirer of Photinia I grew to appreciate them here as they’re so drought-resistant and beautiful all year (no red leaves on mine though at the moment). I’ve seen many lavender plants resprout after being radically cut back so think it’s one of those myths out there. What is the plant left of the path in the background (1st pic), Euphorbia rigida? There’s such serenity in your garden, I love that view.

    • Yes, well identified; it is Euphorbia rigida; they self seed profusely in the garden and are usually welcome as they look great all year and thrive even through the longest drought.

  11. Christina glad to continue raining. Here in Spain it is much needed rain. Your garden is fresh and full of life: to the leaves of the trees changing color celebrate some beautiful colors. The Photinia grows with red leaves and this beautiful. It is gorgeous thousands of California poppies have germinated creating a green carpet: it looks like a second spring. I’m glad not cold and can enjoy your beautiful garden. I’m already in my flat in Madrid with my parents and not go back to the cottage until next April, if nothing happens. Greetings from Margarita.

  12. This is such a timely post for me, with your information on cutting back lavenders! Green is the colour of the autumn season here, as with you, and I have been astonished to watch plants putting on some 6 inches of growth in all directions in perhaps two weeks! It’s lovely to see your Eschscholzia sprouting. I’m trying to get it established here but have a ways to go…
    My post this month is about the lavenders…:

    • I’m so glad you found the post useful Amy; excuse the delay in responding to you; we had house guests who were lovely but brought with them one of the worst flu viruses I’ve encountered for a while, I’m only half on my feet today.

  13. Hi Christina, your garden looks beautiful and the fields beyond very green, my daughter is in Amalfi at the moment and they’ve had several days of rain. I think we just expect lots of sunshine in Italy, whenever the visit. Its autumnal here and chilly, which hopefully means some lovely colours are on their way. In my own garden (we are still here, house hunting is proving long and stressful) its quite green.

  14. So many similar plants in your garden to ours!….lavender and rosemary are such good plants for us, as they are so hardy and drought resistant. and of course, every garden in Canberra has at least one Photinia, they kept on growing through the drought.

  15. I have problems keeping lavender looking good from year to year. Here, it really needs to be pruned just when it is looking good and the bees are enjoying it.
    We are starting to get some lovely autumn colours here even though there have been no really cold temperatures to initiate them. Can you grow Cotinus in your garden? It is stunning at this time of the year.

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