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 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.
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.
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.
All your new growth is amazing, yes, your Photinia looks very springlike! Will you thin your Californian poppies, they are like an area of foxgloves that I sprinkled with seed, thousands have come up?
My link is – http://leadupthegardenpath.com
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
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.
That’s good news about your lavender, I suppose its raised position made all the difference.
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Your lavender is looking great. It is one plant I love but due to the damp winters fine hard to keep in good form. Some Autumn colour on my GBFD at https://glebehouse.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/gbfd-autumn-arrives/
You’re right lavender hates winter wet. I find pruning immediately after flowering and then in spring gives the best results. Thanks for your contribution.
Your Californian poppies look set to make a great return again next year. They are doing reasonably well here but I can’t yet rely on self seeding. They are so good when they do appear it’s worth a modest investment in new seed.
Autumn has arrived over the last couple of days, the acers etc rather than the natives as yet but there are plenty of signs.
Today is the first really cold day here this autumn, it always comes as a bit of a shock.
Hi Christina, I love your terrace view in that last photo–so compelling. Amazing to see all those poppies. Do you plant them thick like that are do they self-seed? My lavender did poorly last year (had been a wet winter) and I was thinking of replacing it, but maybe I’ll give it a hard shear in spring. Not much autumn color yet around here yet. https://pbmgarden.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/garden-bloggers-foliage-day-october-2016/
The seedlings are all self seeded from last spring I haven’t down any more since the couple of packets 4 years ago.
Interesting about the lavender, I have seen recovery here too. Amelia
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Pingback: Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: True Colours… Are Beautiful | Rambling in the Garden
Your self seeded Californian poppies are amazing – so far only my ‘white’ ones seem to self seed, but I shall keep trying! Your observations about light levels were interesting and this meme as a whole has brought so many rewards through closer observation so thanks for hosting. My post is at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/garden-bloggers-foliage-day-true-colours-are-beautiful/
Thanks for your insightful comment and for your contribution this month.
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.
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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
Your garden doesn’t look like it is going to sleep quite yet. Try to enjoy these bonus days. Thanks for your contribution to GBFD this month.
It always tickles me to see the mass of California poppy seedlings that pop up in your garden. That hasn’t ever happened in my Southern California garden!
It is strange but I suppose that California is a huge state and the climatic conditions from north to south vary enormously.
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: https://mygardenersays.com/2016/10/22/soft-n-spiky/
Your garden is certainly looking refreshed. Can’t wait to see all those California Poppies in bloom. Here’s my contribution. https://gardeninacity.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/three-great-grasses-for-fall/
A few of the poppies are alfeady flowering, but for the rest we’ll just have to wait until spring. Thanks for joing GBFD this month Jason.
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?
No but it makes senses.
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.
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.
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…: http://www.smallsunnygarden.com/2016/10/23/a-look-at-lavender/
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.
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.
your daughter has been quite unlucky as usually October isn’t as wet and cold as it has been this year; I hope it didn’t spoil her visit too much.
The rain has meant lots of enjoyable reading time and they’ve still been able to sight see, she will definatley go back and prefers it to the year I dragged her across Rome sightseeing in 40c heat 🙂
Usually late September to early October are the best times for sightseeing.
My fiddlewood is turning orange, a herald of summer
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.
Photinia are considered rather boring in the UK but any plant that actually looks great during the long period is a hit with me.
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.
Yes I have 2, but the colours aren’t great.