Singing the blues

Spring bulbs are continuing to give a lot of pleasure in the garden. A surprising number of them are blue.

Prostrate Rosemary

The rosemary has had flowers since November but there have never been quite as many as there are now.

Muscari

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’, I increased their numbers this year and love this view along the upper slope path

The ones in the foreground have been there for several years but those behind were planted last autumn.

Crocus

The light shining through the petals of the crocus is so uplifting.

Hyacinths

I find the perfume of hyacinths in the house too strong but in the garden they are perfect, plus their strong form can be appreciated from inside the house.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’ makes an ideal contrast with the inflorescence of Euphorbia rigida.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’ behind and a self sown seedling that looks like it is a cross between Mr. Fokker and Syphide

It is nice to see that the Anemone coronaria are crossing with each other producing new colours to enjoy.

What plants in your garden cross with each other to produce new colouration?

 

 

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Today in the Garden 1st March 2019

Yesterday when I was in the greenhouse I glanced out and was horrified to see that the Cypress by the gate was billowing with smoke; I thought someone must have set the tree on fire – but no as I looked at all the Cypresses they all looked as if smoke was blowing away from them.  Then, of course, I realised that it wasn’t smoke but the fine dust-like pollen!  I pity anyone with an allergy, the pollen is so fine it filled the air and there would be no way of avoiding inhaling the pollen.  Stranger still was the fact that the day seemed to be completely still (after days of strong wind), yet the pollen didn’t stream off the trees constantly but in gusts.

Today was cloudy but not cold; ideal for taking some photographs showing the advance of spring.

Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’

More Anemones are opening their buds around the garden; I have sown the seed I saved last year; I want to be able to have them all around the garden and have enough to pick for a vase.

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’

The white Anemones remain with short stems; they are the most prolific Anemone in the garden but grow with consistently short stems – very annoying.

The formal beds looking towards the left hand border

You can see Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’ on the left and Euphorbia rigida peeping out between evergreen shrubs giving a shot of early colour all around the garden.

Euphorbia rigida

Rosemary

Rosemary has been flowering since the autumn but there seem to be even more flowers at the moment.

deep purple crocus

Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’

Hyacinths have been in the ground for several years now, I planted more last autumn too.  They reliably return each year giving a punch of strong colour just when we need it most.

Hyacinth from a mixed pack of blues

Grevillia rosmarinifolia, another plant that has been flowering for most of February.  This Grevillia is very hardy, I would like to try some of the other varieties but I rarely see them in nurseries here.

Top of drive border

You can tell it is winter by the patch of bright green in the field beyond the garden, it would be golden or brown in summer.

Lonicera fragrantissima

I think there are more blooms on the wonderful fragrant Lonicera than I’ve ever seen before.  Maybe due in part to more rain last summer.

Lonicera fragrantissima

So much perfume from such tiny flowers.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ are blooming all around the garden at the moment; I love them.  This variety returns well each year but other varieties are less sure.  After seeing the wonderful selection of varieties Chloris at The Blooming Garden has, I hope to try some different ones next year.

I hope the good gardening weather continues everywhere.  Readers in the UK might like to contemplate that their temperatures this past week have been between 5 to 15 degrees higher than here in central Italy where last weekend we had a icy winds from the north.  Even yesterday, which was a glorious day our temperatures didn’t rise above 18°C.

In a vase on Monday – In a goldfish bowl

The last week has been spring-like, even on the days that had a cold wind from the north, the sun shone and out of the wind it was warm.  Sunday the wind dropped and it was truly the best day of the year so far.

I have been able to work in the garden; clearing, planting and pruning the wisteria (nearly done).

I had thought that with the warm days there would be more tulips to share with you today, but they are stubbornly refusing to open their buds although I’m sure in a couple of days there will be several different varieties flowering.

I had planted some Iris reticulata in pots to have in the Orangery and these began to flower last week – today I noticed those in the garden are also flowering (later than some of those I have seen on English blogs, which is interesting in itself).  My first idea was to have the irises in their pots and some beautiful stems from a friend’s tulip tree.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ and tulip tree woody flowers

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

The remains of the flowers from a tulip tree

I really wish I had planted a tulip tree (Liriodendron) in my garden – the flowers are beautiful in spring but what remains on the tree during the winter is the woody outer sepals which looked like small wooden flowers silhouetted against the sky.

I wasn’t quite satisfied with how the irises looked so I was inspired to try something else.

In a vase on Monday

In a fish-bowl vase I placed a leaf of Fatsia japonica and some of the seed-heads; I added a stem of a Hellebore I had been given as a Christmas present which is white in flower but then fades to green.

Fatsia japonica seed-heads and Hellebore

I then just dropped the potted Irises into the top of the vase.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

I took it all outside to photograph.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

I loved this last image so much I have made it my desktop screensaver.

With my thanks, as always, to Cathy at Rambling in the garden which inspires us to be inventive with our home grown flowers.

 

Little February treasures

On the 26th January I wrote about my busy gardening week; but since then the weather has been anything but good so most of the work done has been in the greenhouse (report coming soon) rather than the garden.

Today, at last, there has been soon sunshine that had a little warm in it so I was able to prune most of the  mutabilis roses.  They had been pruned badly (by me) as a hedge between the drive and the vegetable garden.  To be brutally honest they are too large a rose for where I have planted them; add to this that they have been cut so as not to scratch the cars and to keep them back from the pathway in the vegetable garden – the result was crossed stems and new strong shoots beginning high up old stems.  I pruned all but three of the roses; I’ll show you what they look like when I’ve completed them all.  But suffice to say that the view of the onion bed is now very open!

I have another tulip that is not as described on the pack; one has reached flowering stage well before the others but instead of Daytona (White frilled) I have this…..

Tulip NOT Daytona

It is fringed as Daytona should be and is not unattractive but it is always disappointing when things aren’t what they should be.

Crocus, the first of the deep purple

Crocus. this image was last week, the yellow crocus are all finished now.

Tommi Crocus

Or as it should be Crocus Tommasinianus Lilac Beauty (seems a very long name for something so delicate)

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’

Volunteer Anemone

Grape hyacinth

There are thousands of Grape hyacinths in the garden but this is the only one flowering.

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

Hyacinth Miss Saigon, the first to flower in the garden

Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’

You can see last year’s Sedum stems need cutting back – I have done some of the many around the garden; those remaining are growing quickly which makes cutting the stems off low more difficult.

Sorry the name escapes me, something rosemariafolia

Native Freesia buds – they won’t be long now

Snowdrop

almost ripe seedpod from another snowdrop

Iris unguicularis

Viburnum tinus

When Chloris at The Blooming Garden writes her post for February flowers I’ll link to it.

I hope you are finding at least a few garden when you can get on with some work in the garden.

Making me smile this week 3rd February 2016

Weather-wise it has been a mixed week with a couple of days of really warm sunshine and blue skies and the rest rather grey with a cold wind.  On Monday I began pruning the wisteria on the pergola at the front of the house.  I wish I’d taken a photograph immediately as the new structure against the blue sky was really making me smile a lot, against the grey sky today it looks far less impressive.  Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – Spring offerings

After a week of heavy frosts I wasn’t sure what there would be to pick for A vase on Monday, when Cathy at Rambling in the Garden challenges us to fill a vase with flowers from our gardens or surroundings.  By repotting some Iris reticulata from the greenhouse and picking from the garden I was able to fill three, miniature, zinc buckets. Continue reading