End of Month View – There is Colour Again

Incredibly it is the end of September already.  Where do the months go?  It’s the time to join Helen the Patient Gardener for the EMV.

My Hesperides Garden is almost back to normal; there is colour again, there is GREEN again.  September has been the coolest I can remember since we moved to Italy in 2003; after such an unbearably hot summer it has been such a welcome relief.  There has been rain, we need more but the plants have appreciated what has fallen and have shown their gratitude by bursting into new growth and in some cases into flower.

Colours are different in autumn light, sunrise and sunsets are beautiful and on the duller days subtle colours that would have appeared faded in strong summer light have looked bright.

There is perfume in the garden again too; the subtle fragrance of Rosa mutabilis is the first thing I notice when I step out of the door.

Rosa mutabilis

Rosa mutabilis is so generous, apart from the hottest months in flowers most of the year.  When there weather is cooler there are more apricot coloured blooms, staying that colour longer than when it is very got so providing more variations of colour at any one time.  The two links above are to different posts.

More powerful is the intoxicating accents of Elaeagnus x ebbingei coming from insignificant but exquisitely scented flowers.  I’m told the fruits eventually produced in April are edible, delicious even, if I remember I’ll try them next year and report back.

Lots of the flowers are blue; Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’, Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’ and Perovskia are all clear pure blues.

Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’, loved by the bees

There are also lots of pinks, they almost seem out of place at this time of year.

Tubaglia, these were divided in spring so didn’t flower much this year but are putting on a welcome show now.

Hibiscus have put on a long show this year, I bought another pure white from a plant fair, they are valuable plants in the garden, coping with drought and flowering later in summer and into autumn

Asters are beginning to put on a show.

You can hardly see the foliage on this Aster.

But more about them another day.

I have been busily taking cutting of plants I want more of in the garden, especially those that are drought tolerant.

My bulb order arrived this week and I have begun planting; it takes a while as I need to tidy and clear the spaces first.  I am finding that the spread sheet I created when I made my order with the positions of each bulb listed is making planting more efficient.

Another scented plant that is a joy when I walk into the garden in the morning or evening is the Datura; its perfume is so alluring to the bees that often they can’t wait for the flower to open (just as it’s getting dark) and they bore a hole to reach the nectar.


Thanks Helen for hosting this meme, even if it is a reminder of how quickly the year is passing!

GBBD October 2011

I am late with my account of what is flowering in my garden on the 15th October.  We have had such strong winds for the last 5 days it has been almost impossible to take any photos at all.  I waited until today hoping that the wind would drop and it has slightly but I’m afraid not all my blooms are here – many of the photos were just too out of focus to be shared.

With the cooler days there are more pale flowers on Rosa Mutabilis

Thank you Carol at May Dreams garden for hosting this meme; visit her to see blooms from around the world.

Since GBBD in September we have had some very strange weather here in Lazio.  On the night of 18th September we had thunder and lightning, sheet and fork , that lasted for most of the night; there wasn’t any rain for hours of the storm but in a two hour period we did have 30 cm of rain fall; yes! That’s not a mistake a foot of water in 2 hours! And then it continued to rain so that in all we must have had 40cm in one night.  It is said that London and Rome both have the same amount of rain in a year but in London it probably rains 280 days where as in Rome it all falls in less than 100 days.  So that when it does rain – it literally floods down!

In the lower part of the garden we have what was 2 thousand years ago an Etruscan tomb, converted and used as a stable for animals from who knows when until about 25 years ago – we use it as a store; it’s not very useful as it is so damp that wine bottles stored there lose their labels within a month – so we have had to find somewhere else to store our wine.  There is a step down into the store so that when it rained and washed most of the topsoil from the surrounding fields over the lane that is the only access to our house, water and mud flooded into the store leaving the mud and showing the depth of water and mud to have reached 60cm – I am only grateful that the garden wasn’t flooded or indeed washed away.

Datura continue to fill the evening air with its wonderful perfume

Even the soil on the steep slope that I have been featuring in ‘The end of month view’ was held in place by the planting of stipa tenuissima and other plants; proving that bare soil is always a bad idea that leads to erosion.

Mud filled the ditch that takes our downpipe water had to be dug out; it also covered the area I’d been preparing to plant some trees, the weeds had been removed but the fields had just been reseeded with grass so now I have a beautiful crop of grass!

The rain was followed by beautiful days with sunshine and temperatures returning to those that we expect in August.  We have enjoyed some days at the beach; the hot weather continued until the beginning of this week when the wind turned and blew from the north bringing cold air, so much so that the bed has gone from having just a linen sheet to a nice warm duvet which has been snuggled under in a 10 day period.

The autumn work I wanted to do in the garden will have to be compressed into a couple of weeks – September the temperatures were too high to transplant anything other than tough Iris and Hermerocallis, and this week it has been so windy it was almost impossible to stand……

Miscanthus 'Morning Light' blowing in the wind earlier in the week

I’d be interested to know what you think the first flower is in the slideshow – I sprinkled several, very old packs of seeds by the side of the drive, I think this is from these but I don’t regognise what it is.

The rain combined with the hot sun means that most of the plants blooming in September are still blooming now with the addition of Asters which hadn’t really started last month.

If you click on the image below you can see some of what is blooming in My Hesperides Garden this mid October.

pathway by the back border

Don’t forget to join in GBFD (Garden Bloggers Foliage day) next Saturday the 22nd October.  I hope you’ll have some lovely autumn colour to share or of course, maybe it is spring where you are in which case you can cheer us northern hemisphere gardeners with images of the promise of spring!  Where ever you are I look forward to seeing how you use foliage in your garden.