Singing the blues

Spring bulbs are continuing to give a lot of pleasure in the garden. A surprising number of them are blue.

Prostrate Rosemary

The rosemary has had flowers since November but there have never been quite as many as there are now.

Muscari

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’, I increased their numbers this year and love this view along the upper slope path

The ones in the foreground have been there for several years but those behind were planted last autumn.

Crocus

The light shining through the petals of the crocus is so uplifting.

Hyacinths

I find the perfume of hyacinths in the house too strong but in the garden they are perfect, plus their strong form can be appreciated from inside the house.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’ makes an ideal contrast with the inflorescence of Euphorbia rigida.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’ behind and a self sown seedling that looks like it is a cross between Mr. Fokker and Syphide

It is nice to see that the Anemone coronaria are crossing with each other producing new colours to enjoy.

What plants in your garden cross with each other to produce new colouration?

 

 

In a vase on Monday – Tulip Blumex Favourite

You may remember that last week I showed you one Tulip Blumex Favourite in the round goldfish bowl vase.  This week there are more of this interestingly coloured parrot tulip; I again used some Fatsia japonica seedheads although they are very heavy and have already flopped in the vase.

In a vase on Monday

Tulip Blumex Favourite

Tulip Blumex Favourite

Tulip Blumex Favourite

Tulip Blumex Favourite

Tulip Blumex Favourite

Tulip Blumex Favourite

Do visit Cathy at Rambling in the garden for other Monday vases.

Have a great gardening week.

I’m going to be sowing tomato and Zinnia seed as space becomes free on the propagating trays.  I sowed Zinnia Benary’s Giant Wine on Saturday and it has germinated this morning (good fresh seed from Chiltern Seeds).  Have you started sowing seeds yet?

Today in the Garden 1st March 2019

Yesterday when I was in the greenhouse I glanced out and was horrified to see that the Cypress by the gate was billowing with smoke; I thought someone must have set the tree on fire – but no as I looked at all the Cypresses they all looked as if smoke was blowing away from them.  Then, of course, I realised that it wasn’t smoke but the fine dust-like pollen!  I pity anyone with an allergy, the pollen is so fine it filled the air and there would be no way of avoiding inhaling the pollen.  Stranger still was the fact that the day seemed to be completely still (after days of strong wind), yet the pollen didn’t stream off the trees constantly but in gusts.

Today was cloudy but not cold; ideal for taking some photographs showing the advance of spring.

Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’

More Anemones are opening their buds around the garden; I have sown the seed I saved last year; I want to be able to have them all around the garden and have enough to pick for a vase.

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’

The white Anemones remain with short stems; they are the most prolific Anemone in the garden but grow with consistently short stems – very annoying.

The formal beds looking towards the left hand border

You can see Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’ on the left and Euphorbia rigida peeping out between evergreen shrubs giving a shot of early colour all around the garden.

Euphorbia rigida

Rosemary

Rosemary has been flowering since the autumn but there seem to be even more flowers at the moment.

deep purple crocus

Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’

Hyacinths have been in the ground for several years now, I planted more last autumn too.  They reliably return each year giving a punch of strong colour just when we need it most.

Hyacinth from a mixed pack of blues

Grevillia rosmarinifolia, another plant that has been flowering for most of February.  This Grevillia is very hardy, I would like to try some of the other varieties but I rarely see them in nurseries here.

Top of drive border

You can tell it is winter by the patch of bright green in the field beyond the garden, it would be golden or brown in summer.

Lonicera fragrantissima

I think there are more blooms on the wonderful fragrant Lonicera than I’ve ever seen before.  Maybe due in part to more rain last summer.

Lonicera fragrantissima

So much perfume from such tiny flowers.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ are blooming all around the garden at the moment; I love them.  This variety returns well each year but other varieties are less sure.  After seeing the wonderful selection of varieties Chloris at The Blooming Garden has, I hope to try some different ones next year.

I hope the good gardening weather continues everywhere.  Readers in the UK might like to contemplate that their temperatures this past week have been between 5 to 15 degrees higher than here in central Italy where last weekend we had a icy winds from the north.  Even yesterday, which was a glorious day our temperatures didn’t rise above 18°C.

In a vase on Monday – Parrots

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden inspires us each Monday to find flowers from our gardens or collected locally to cut and enjoy in our homes.  She has encouraged many of us to look forward to Monday as a day to share our vases with many other enthusiastic participants.

We have had a week of two very different weather conditions.  For most of the week it was deliciously warm (ideal gardening weather), then at the weekend a ‘Beast from the East’ arrived bringing with it gale force winds and temperatures dipping below freezing.  This had its effect on the development of the tulips.  The pioneer stems of two varieties began to open and so were picked with the expectation of adding the rest within a few days; the cold temperatures have delayed the rest so today’s vases are not as abundant as I had envisaged.

A collection of vases and pots in the kitchen yesterday

Tulip Negrita has always been one of my favourite tulips, all the more as it has returned in the garden for many years.  Last year I added some Double Negrita and for this year I saw that a Negrita has been added to the list available and decided to try them.  The first bloom appeared almost a week ago, way ahead of the others in the pot; when I added the others to the vase and changed the water it keeled over as you can see in the image above.  I then cut it shorter to give it more stability in the vase.

Today the Irises are finished so just a slim vase of Tulip Negrita Parrot and the fish bowl remain

Last weeks fish bowl arrangement has been adapted by removing the pot of Iris reticulata and adding a single stem of Tulip Blumex Favourite, another parrot tulip.

Last weeks fish bowl with the addition of Tulip Blumex Favourite

Tulip Blumex Favourite

What will you find to share with us today, I wonder.  For more vases visit Cathy.

Hope this is a good gardening week for you all.

 

 

In a vase on Monday – In a goldfish bowl

The last week has been spring-like, even on the days that had a cold wind from the north, the sun shone and out of the wind it was warm.  Sunday the wind dropped and it was truly the best day of the year so far.

I have been able to work in the garden; clearing, planting and pruning the wisteria (nearly done).

I had thought that with the warm days there would be more tulips to share with you today, but they are stubbornly refusing to open their buds although I’m sure in a couple of days there will be several different varieties flowering.

I had planted some Iris reticulata in pots to have in the Orangery and these began to flower last week – today I noticed those in the garden are also flowering (later than some of those I have seen on English blogs, which is interesting in itself).  My first idea was to have the irises in their pots and some beautiful stems from a friend’s tulip tree.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ and tulip tree woody flowers

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

The remains of the flowers from a tulip tree

I really wish I had planted a tulip tree (Liriodendron) in my garden – the flowers are beautiful in spring but what remains on the tree during the winter is the woody outer sepals which looked like small wooden flowers silhouetted against the sky.

I wasn’t quite satisfied with how the irises looked so I was inspired to try something else.

In a vase on Monday

In a fish-bowl vase I placed a leaf of Fatsia japonica and some of the seed-heads; I added a stem of a Hellebore I had been given as a Christmas present which is white in flower but then fades to green.

Fatsia japonica seed-heads and Hellebore

I then just dropped the potted Irises into the top of the vase.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

I took it all outside to photograph.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

I loved this last image so much I have made it my desktop screensaver.

With my thanks, as always, to Cathy at Rambling in the garden which inspires us to be inventive with our home grown flowers.