In a vase on Monday – Little and Large

As a result of joining Cathy’s Meme each Monday where she challenges us to find material from our own gardens to put in a vase, as I walk around the garden I am on the lookout for buds that might be opening by Monday. Continue reading

The slope on 6th February

Sorry about there not being a post last week but really the weather was impossible!  We have had rain every day since last Wednesday, today so far is sunny but several other mornings have been relatively fine followed by rain in the afternoons, evenings and during the nights.  Last Friday there was so much rain in our area that there was a derailment on the main train line from Viterbo to Rome; only yesterday were trains running again.  In lots of places there have been landslides and water is pouring off the field into the ditches; fortunately there is now grass growing on the fields so that so there has been no erosion as we have seen when it rains heavily in autumn. Continue reading

A vase of garden flowers 9th December

I thought that after almost two weeks of frost during the night that it would be difficult to find ‘summery’ flowers for my vase this week (I usually pick the flowers on Friday or Saturday to enjoy them at the weekend) but while some plants had succumbed to the frost others were still doing fine.  I am sure this is because the temperatures haven’t actually fallen that low, just low enough for ice crystals to form but not below minus 1 or 2.  Tender annuals often die at zero °C but a lot of other plants are hardy to minus 5 hence this being one of the categories in RHS books. Continue reading

GBBD There are blooms today!

The middle of November already, where has 2013 gone?  With such a gentle autumn with rain and sun and mild temperatures day and night there are still plenty of blooms in the garden.  Yes, there are the usual suspects, the plants that flower reliably for most of the year and they are not appreciated any less by me for that reason, they deserve their inclusion in GBBD as much as any prima donnas who excite with their rare presence.  I‘m joining Carol at May Dreams where gardeners from all over the world share what’s flowering today in their gardens. Continue reading

The Slope on Thursday 14th November

The weather really changed this week.  It was quite a shock to the system as the temperatures dropped and on Monday there were gale force winds and rain for most of the day; the wind has continued all week, dropping in intensity a little on Tuesday but still strong yesterday.  Leaves were ripped from branches whether they were ready to fall or not; a whole branch was broken from one of the Leylandii.

But today is sunny and bright, the wind still present but not so cold.

Continue reading

May 6th 2012 Buddleia To keep or not to keep… that is the question?

Buddleia ‘Silver Anniversary’ or now called B. ‘Morning Mist’

“A new variety with intensely silver foliage topped with scented white flowers that attract butterflies! This miniature buddleia has already undergone a name change from ‘Silver Anniversary’ to ‘Morning Mist’; it’s easy to see why both names are very deserving. Its big selling point is the superb, silvery woolly evergreen foliage. The packed tiny white flowers make shorter panicles than the ones on the traditional buddleias. Be daring and place it nearer the front of the border to cool down hot colour schemes, or use as a link plant amongst a group of pastels. Not widely available yet, this is a very classy plant. The season-long striking foliage makes a fabulous foil for other plants in any mixed border; the clusters of white flowers with mustard coloured eyes have a sweet honey scent, and are also highly attractive.”

Maybe the name change came about because the gardener wanted a divorce from this plant!  I purchased mine from a plant fair – actually the only places to find slightly unusual plants here in Italy!  I was attracted by the silver foliage and I thought I had heard that the flowers of this variety didn’t turn a nasty brown as they finished flowering.  WRONG!

At the beginning of  sunny April it didn’t look so bad did it? with Tulip Negrita

New flowers look like this, and it does attract insects although not butterflies

But the dead flowers look like this, and they persist on the plant for some time.

After rain the foliage changes from sparkling silver to green and to me the shape is straggly

Tell me what you think; should it stay and I put up with the flowers turning brown or should I be ruthless and dig it up and consign it to the compost heap.  Is there a middle road; could I take cuttings and when or if these have formed plants put them in a less obvious place ‘the front of the border’ mentioned above is not where I want it!