In a vase on Monday – a little something to brighten my day

I have been absent without leave from blogland!  I needed a little break and life has been very pleasantly busy over the Christmas and New Year period.  I have enjoyed reading many of your posts but not commented again through lack of time.  So to all of you that I haven’t wished an individual Happy New Year, I send you my very best wishes now. Continue reading

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In a vase on Monday – Who’d have thought it?

There is an icy cold wind this morning, but the sun is shining.  I went into the garden with my secateurs with no idea whatsoever what I would find to put in my vase to join with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden this week. Continue reading

In a Vase on Monday – You’d think it was spring!

Cathy is away today celebrating her mother’s 90th birthday – Happy Birthday Cathy’s mum!

Even though she is away, Cathy has produced a love little vase of flowers so my arrangement is for her for her dedication to this meme which brings us all such pleasure. Continue reading

GBFD – February – Foliage is my garden’s structure

As this first image shows, the formal beds gain all their structure from the foliage of the chipped box and lavender; in the Renaissance there was a balance in a garden between Art and Nature, the natural (always strictly under control) and the manmade often imitating nature to the extent that sometimes the viewer was unsure if something was Nature or Art.  One of the ways that plants could be like art was by being tightly clipped so that the shadow thrown was as crisp and strong as that thrown by a wall.  You can see the idea here with lower late afternoon light on the lavender and box.

The formal garden, box and lavender

The formal garden, box and lavender

Continue reading

Is it snow?

This week has seen a big change in the weather.  No more kidding myself that it is spring or autumn, winter has arrived.  It is early for it to be so cold here in Lazio

On Monday I drove to Rome, I chose the road that goes over the Cimini hills (mountains) they aren’t that high so it rather depends where you come from whether you consider them mountains or hills, the highest point on the road is 850 m.  It was cold but also beautifully sunny, as I was driving I saw in the distance the snow tipped peak of Monte Amiata, but that’s higher than the Cimini and way off in Tuscany so I didn’t change my mind about my route.  Mistake!  As I climbed the trees began to be sprinkled with white.  Was it frost?  Then it became clear, the trees were coated in a thick layer of snow; it was amazingly beautiful and I regret not taking any photographs, but I thought the road was too dangerous to stop.  Cars coming in the opposite direction were driving very slowly and as I neared the highest point (860 m) there was a group of Carabinieri, stopping the traffic, saying the road was closed due to ice!  So I retraced my steps and took a lower road to arrive at my destination an hour late on a journey that should have taken 50 minutes!

Then yesterday, Wednesday when the forecast said it would be sunny, it first rained and then hailed, huge pieces of ice some about the size if a marble, others smaller – and it was so cold that many remained on the ground for two days!

Hail stones on the window cill

Hail stones on the window cill

Hailstones on the terrace

Hailstones on the terrace

Hail in the garden

Hail in the garden

White fields of hail stones

White fields of hail stones

Today garden is white with frost, the clipped Lavender looking lovely outlined in white; but some intervention is needed; the lemons and limes that I had already moved from the north east side of the house to the west side to avoid the cold north wind (Tramontana) now need to be moved into the greenhouse, so a little rearranging is also called for there.

Lavender in the formal garden white with frost

Lavender in the formal garden white with frost