GBBD April 2014 – Spring is moving into Summer

Today is GBBD and gardeners all over the world are photographing what is blooming in their gardens today and linking with Carol at May Dreams Garden to share what they have found.

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GBBD – Spring has arrived

So the first Bloomday of spring is here!  Even though our winter here in Italy has been mercifully mild (maybe too mild, I saw a locust the other day – not a good sign) it is still a good feeling to know that spring is here and soon there will be no fear of very cold nights doing any damage to new crops planted outside. Continue reading

GBBD still more summer than winter

Bloomday has been sunny and warm but when I took the photos this morning everything was wet; wet from the rain yesterday and from the frost that enveloped the garden in the latter part of the night.  As before Christmas the temperature seems to have only fallen to zero or perhaps one degree below. Continue reading

GBBD – Fresh October

I arrived home too late to join in Bloomday last month.  Although there had been major rainfall the temperatures were relatively high and the garden still had that faded summer look.  October has brought with it more rain in significant quantities and now the temperatures are lower especially at night.  At last the garden looks FRESH, with many of the roses re-flowering so I’m happy to be joining in this month. Continue reading

GBFD Foliage and structure at Sissinghurst Castle

It is hard to believe that a week ago today I was praying for the rain to hold off long enough to be able to fully enjoy my visit to Sissinghurst Castle.

The forecast subjected that if we visited as soon as the garden opened we might be lucky; I so wanted the American friends we were visiting with to see the garden at its best and not be miserable in heavy rain.  As it turned out we were very fortunate and the rain arrived very late in the day after a very interesting visit to Bodium Castle too!

So you’re thinking what has this to do with GBFD!  Well, when I think of Sissinghurst I think of flowers and especially roses but on this visit even though the garden was still full of colour my belief that foliage and structure are THE most important factors in a successful garden was reinforced by the beautifully clipped box and Yew.

The White Garden, Sissinghurst, Beautifully clipped box

The White Garden, Sissinghurst, Beautifully clipped box

I’m not sure I am correct but I think the box hedging in the White Garden has been pruned differently; I need to find my old photographs to check.  Now the hedging seems narrower and taller which I thought looked much better and was probably initially done for safety reasons as before the hedges were shorter and wider, possibly a trip hazard now they make a definite statement and also I thought they were more elegant.  Do let me know if you think there has been a change or if it is just my imagination playing tricks on me.

The Yew alleys with focal points had also just been trimmed and were crisp and sharp creating wonderful shadows as hedging does in Italian gardens becoming an architectural feature and not just planting.

These long narrow spaces give a rest to the eyes from the intensely planted borders and create wonderful long views that stimulate exploration of the garden

These long narrow spaces give a rest to the eyes from the intensely planted borders and create wonderful long views that stimulate exploration of the garden

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I love that the spring walk is left almost empty as it would have been in Vita and Harold’s time; when each garden room had its moment of glory and would perhaps be left unvisited for the rest of the time – something that is not feasible today when thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the garden from all over the world and expect to see most of the garden looking perfect.  I have always coveted the pleached limes bordering the spring walk and am hoping to plant some myself this winter and create a little spring walk myself at the back of the garden.

Pleached limes in the Spring Walk, Sissinghurst

Pleached limes in the Spring Walk, Sissinghurst

The beds are ready for the mass planting of bulbs which will fill this space with colour all spring.

I am late posting today (I apologise) so I thank Pauline and Susie who have I know already posted for joining in.  Do add your own post about what foliage is interesting or stunning in your own garden this month.  Autumn tints are already beginning in some parts of the world; I especially love seeing those as we don’t really experience that here in Lazio.  Just leave a comment with your link and leave a link to this post in your post; I look forward to reading them all.