10 good things for March

Chloris at The Blooming Garden writes a monthly roundup of the best things in her garden in any given month and has decided to make the day the 23rd of each month so that others may join her.

There is no shortage of choice this month as spring has come to My Hesperides Garden and it is such a pleasure to walk around each day to see what is newly flowering and watch progress on buds that are slowly opening.

One thing I can see from the kitchen table is the progress of the Wisteria, extra special this year after loosing all the blooms last year to the Beast from the East!

Wisteria ‘Prolific’ 18th March

Wisteria Prolific today 23rd March

Wisteria ‘Prolific’

It is as if the colour was waiting for today to show. in another couple of days I think it will be open completely.  There are so many buds, I’m so excited to see it flowering.

Viburnum burkwoodii

Usually Viburnum burkwoodii is the first to flower but this year carlessii beat it by a couple of days.

Viburnum carlessii

Narcissus Thalia

Thalia are gorgeous, I need to pick more to bring into the house as they have a delicious perfume.

Clematis armandii

Another white spring flower and another that is delicately perfumed.

Magnolia stellata

There is Euphorbia rigida and E. myrsinites all around the garden

Both these Euphorbias seed prolifically in the gravel so I’m able to lift them and place them where I want them.  They have been the most obvious statement of spring’s arrival; luckily they work well as a back drop to all the spring bulbs and then continue to look attractive even in the heat of summer.

Hyacinth Miss Saigon, Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide and Euphobia

More Hyacinths from a mixed pack

A little mix of spring colour from bulbs

Muscari and Hyacinth Delph Blue

Suddenly the foliage of the bearded Iris is growing too, another month and they will be flowering too.

Hyacinths Berry Fruit mix

Just behind the Hyacinths you can just see Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’, which has been a great success this year.

Muscari with Euphorbia

There has been blossom in profusion from the fruit trees but I only have an image of the miniature flowering peach (I think that is what it is but each year I forget!!!

Dwarf flowering peach

 

Then of course there are tulips

Tulip Miami Sunset

Tulip White Triumphator

I love how the sun shines through their leaves

Tulip ‘Negrita Parrot’ and Hyacinths

Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’

Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’

I’ve rather lost count, but I think that is ten!  Spring is here now in Italy, the cold wind we’ve been experiencing all month has finally dropped and it is wonderfully warm.  Do visit Chloris and perhaps find ten things you’d like to share from your garden too.

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I love the days it feels like spring!

Last Wednesday was a glorious day and yesterday (Tuesday) and today are the same; but the days in between were horrendous.  Strong cold winds and three days of continuous rain spoilt the weekend and Monday; it really hard to believe on a day like today that it can be so different! Continue reading

May feast – Rosa Clair Matin

Described as:  Floribunda with 4-11 petals, pale pink with more intense nuances, created in France in 1960 by Marie-Louise Meilland.  Grows up to 3.5 m in height as a climber, but cultivable also as shrub.

Darker pink buds with pale pink slightly peachy coloured flowers.

5 Rosa Clair Matin were planted on the west facing pillars in October 2008.  This is a very generous rose, producing blooms for much of the summer and very well into autumn.

Looking south along pillars on west side of house

Buds began to appear in April but the real first flush of flowers began during the second week of May.

Hard to believe but the image below is the same pillar in March, when Clematis Armandii was the star of the show.

I didn’t show the clematis very much in March but it was spectacular.

 

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – Spring

A month ago the garden was emerging from the snow and I was happy to report temperatures rising to 10° C.  Now that we are officially in spring the temperatures are rising to just on 20° C – that’s a rise of 10° in one month!

I have been away from the garden for a few days and on my return was amazed to see so much difference! Clematis Armandii had two flowers open last Wednesday, today it is covered in flowers, spreading their honey, scent in the warm air.  Many more Muscari are attracting bees and other pollinators and reassuringly flowering even in their congested clumps.

Clematis Armandii

But I’m not here to write about flowers, this is GBFD after all!  Before I left Rosa mutabilis was looking a little bare; I’d pruned after the snow and in doing so had cut away a lot of the stems still carrying leaves revealing bare stems!  Today when I looked out of the window all the bushes were covered in new foliage making the bushes look very impressive.

Rosa mutabilis, new foliage, maybe there will be flowers before the end of the month

I may have pruned some of the emerging flower buds (last year there were flowers during March) but it will be worth it to maintain the full bushy shape.

The Lavender hedges have been pruned and look very sharp!  I love how they look at this point, they grow so fast here that I think they would benefit from being pruned 3 times a year, sometimes I only manage once; the clippings make excellent mulch as the leaves contain a chemical which inhibits the growth of seedlings hopefully including weed seeds!

Formal beds with newly clipped Lavender

Having only just cut down last year’s dead foliage it is wonderful to see all the new growth.  Euphorbia in its various varieties is the star of the show at the moment, either its foliage or vibrant bracts.

Large island bed, looking south

Euphorbia with silver leaved plants

Large island looking towards drive

Small island looking towards large island and drive

Through all the new ground cover foliage a large number of tulips are pushing up, this is gratifying as none were planted new in autumn 2011 so all are from previous years.

Between the Box balls masses of tulips are returning

I can’t resist sharing this Swallowtail butterfly drying its wings in the sun after emerging from its chrysalis.

What foliage is taking the starring role in your garden this spring?  It might be a foliage plant that has been giving good structure all through the winter or the newly emerging leaves of a plant you grow primarily for its flowers, I look forward to seeing and reading about your gardens now spring (or of course autumn in the southern hemisphere) is here.