In a vase on Monday – A spring basket

Monday brings the opportunity to share our flower arranging passions with other like-minded gardeners on Cathy at Rambling in the Garden‘s popular meme. Continue reading

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May 2nd 2016 – In a vase on Monday

Cathy at Rambling in the garden has some very special flowers to share with us all today so even if you can’t join with a vase of your own today do follow the links to her post.  Yesterday we were kindly invited to lunch with a friend; strange as it seems so late in the year,  yesterday was Easter for those of the Orthodox faith; it therefore seemed appropriate to take her a hand-tied bouquet.  I intended using Sweet William and Dianthus but these just didn’t provide the look I wanted so I continued picking other stems to create a light spring time bouquet. Continue reading

Irises on May Day

Happy May Day everyone, here in Italy it is a holiday; all holidays are celebrated on the actual day rather than always on Monday as in the UK, this gives the opportunity for a ‘ponte’ (bridge) so that any holiday next to the weekend or even a Tuesday or Thursday give the chance of a few days holiday by only actually taking one day off as official holiday from work. Continue reading

It’s September and Autumn is here

It is strange how from the extreme heat of mid-summer only a few days ago, now it is suddenly autumn.  This week the mornings have been noticeably fresher with dew left on the ground after the night; giving the plants some refreshment even if it hasn’t rained.  Autumn is when I can start work on the garden, moving, dividing, planting, in summer it’s too hot and even in spring I can’t guarantee that there will be rain for the plants to establish.  So I’m slowly winding up to having more time to garden when it isn’t too hot.

Looking back through my note book I read that there is much to be done.  In 2009 I noted that the new foliage of Nandino was the same as the flower colour of Iris Kent Pride; and they were the same colour at the same time so yesterday I began by lifting and dividing one patch of Iris Kent Pride which had been infested by a spreading thyme and planting them close to a Nandino where I had removed some Bergenia cordifolia that really couldn’t cope with the heat and full sun, this position should suit the Iris perfectly.

Above Iris Kent Pride and below Nandino showing its new foliage.  You can see the stoney soil quite well in these images.

The clump of Kent Pride with thyme invading it

Newly planted, with lots of space to allow for growth

I also moved some beautiful blue Iris Jane Phillips; these were in the Left hand border and had been happy to begin with but the micro-climate of this border have changed.  The mulberry has grown considerably and is creating more shade, also other plants have grown and they are also throwing more shade onto the Iris; lastly the bay hedge which I hadn’t thought was growing quickly enough I now realise has grown a lot and this too means there is more shade in the morning. So I moved half the existing clump, half of these to the drive border near a Ceonothus repans again this is a similar colour, the rest I planted near the prostrate rosemary on the slope.

While I have been lifting and replanting I have also been selecting seedlings of various plants that I have potted on for use in other parts of the garden and for clients.  Below you can see some of the many Stipa tenuissima seedlings, as I‘ve mentioned many times before these seed prolifically in the free-draining tuffo that is my soil.

1 tray of 15 stipa tenuissima

Asclepias tuberosa has been flowers for long periods during the summer but I find the seed pods and seeds dispersal nearly as interesting as the flowers.  I intend sowing these seeds as they are hardy and have a low water demand and would look better planted in larger groups.

Asclepias tuberosa flowers

seedpod just opening to reveal the seeds attached to white 'fluff' to disperse it

With the autumn come different skies and different sunsets here is yesterday evening’s show.

Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Kark Forster' in the foreground

The sky changes every second as the sun sinks, the silhouettes of the trees and shrubs seem black against the fiery sky.