I am aware that it has been ages since I have posted about the garden. I have managed to post a vase most weeks but that is all. Is it that I have been too busy? or that I didn’t have anything new to share? whatever the reason I intend to post more regularly now that life has calmed down a bit. Continue reading
Yesterday was dull and cloudy all day but today is totally different, the sky is blue and the sun is shining, but it is cold. Our weather in Italy seems to have been unseasonable almost all year. We had a wet spring (May and June), an extra hot July and August, a very wet autumn from September to now. Continue reading
The weather continues to be very enjoyable. From Monday there haven’t been any frosts and the days have been warm and sunny. Strangely there are still leaves on the Wisteria, less on the part of the pergola in front of the kitchen but still masses in front of the sitting room. The sun is low in the sky and pours into the kitchen sometimes making it hard to see the computer screen; but I find it even harder the close the inner shutter to keep the sun out! Continue reading
The weather really changed this week. It was quite a shock to the system as the temperatures dropped and on Monday there were gale force winds and rain for most of the day; the wind has continued all week, dropping in intensity a little on Tuesday but still strong yesterday. Leaves were ripped from branches whether they were ready to fall or not; a whole branch was broken from one of the Leylandii.
But today is sunny and bright, the wind still present but not so cold.
The intense heat that is August has arrived; it began in earnest last week and now the temperature hovers around the very high 30°’s C and into the 40°’s C. Too hot for me. I try to get up early, 6 is what I aim for but that is also the moment when it is a pleasant temperature to sleep so I have to choose, sleep or work in the garden – a difficult choice. In the greenhouse it is 45.9°C – too hot for most plants to thrive, and impossible to enter except first thing in the morning. Continue reading
Thanks to Helen for hosting EMV; again it is so hard to believe it is the end of November already.
November has been the perfect month for a gardener; many days of warm sunshine interspersed with life sustaining rain. Today (Wednesday) isn’t nice, heavy rain is falling, there is thunder and lightning which means that the internet is intermittent and it looks black outside, so not a gardening day today!
Not very much has changed in the garden since last EMV except that the walnuts trees have now lost all their leaves and the Mulberry will have done so after the strong winds today and tomorrow.
I have planted garlic (last week) and all the bulbs, except for 25 tulips, are all safely in the ground.
I have been tidying the beds, weeding and planting. The smallest bed, the circular rose bed needed the most attention. Gaura lindheimeri self-seeds profusely in this bed and I hadn’t cleared all last year’s seedlings which had grown so large they were swamping the roses; my plans to do a Chelsea chop didn’t happen so many plants were approaching 1.7 metres. I potted up lots of smaller plants that should make good plants to swap and some with larger roots (almost rhizomes) I transplanted onto the slope where many of the existing plants had perished in the drought. Gaura remains in the spaces between each variety of rose. I also removed 3 large buckets of material to the compost heap.
I then decided to define the quadrants of roses more by planting Miscanthus Gracillimus midway to the centre of the circle between each type of rose and position a Pennisetum villosum in front of the Miscanthus. There were already 2 Miscanthus and one huge Pennisetum in the bed. I was able to divide one of the Miscanthus into 3 which gave me the required four; the Pennisetum is a bit of a thug, it spreads very freely so it was easy to divide it into four large pieces plus a dozen or so smaller sections that I planted onto the slope, replacing some Stipa tenuissima what had more dead material than green. I think the Pennisetum will act well to hold the soil on the slope and they also make better ground cover and weed suppressant than the Stipa.
Pennisetum villosum is drought tolerant in my garden and although it isn’t very pretty in mid-winter it soon puts on new growth in spring and then seems to flower until the first frosts.
The circular rose bed is (or was) the same dimension as the circular void in the middle of the formal garden and it forms the link between the formal front beds and the much more relaxed island beds. Using a void and a positive space isn’t really to be strongly recommended because in fact you can’t SEE that they are the same, but it does give some rhythm so in this case it works. The edge of this border has never been strongly defined before so I decided to use some crazy paving that had been on the front of the house (no, don’t ask why!) to sink into the ground to delineate the shape better.
Here are the roses that are still flowering in the bed this month.
Rosa ‘Tradescant’ also has a couple of flowers but I didn’t take a photo on the 24th November when I photographed the above.
Even my favourite rose ‘Veilchenblau’, which usually only flowers in early summer has put on a few flowers to charm me.