GBBD August

Today is the day when Garden bloggers all over the world share what is flowering in their gardens.  To see what’s happening in other climates and even different seasons visit Carol at MayDreams.  She is our host for this fascinating view of what’s happening; thank you Carol.  It is also a holiday here in Italy, the last of summer and for some reason always makes me feel a bit sad – strange as usually the warm days continue until the end of October or even longer if we’re lucky.  Actually this year the hot weather is forecast to begin again this week so who knows what is going to happen.

How quickly another GBBD is upon us!  It seems only yesterday that I was posting for July.  This year has been very different in the garden.  April, May and June were unseasonably hot; but during July and August the temperatures have been significantly lower than most years AND there has been rain.  Very heavy rain during the first week of July and at the end and even August has also had some rain.  Maybe even more significant has been that the night-time temperatures have been about 10°C lower than the norm.  The garden has loved it.  There are far more flowers for this GBBD than last.  The garden is full of colour and texture.

I love al the textures woven together

I suppose I am slightly surprised that even the plants chosen for their drought tolerance are actually far happier with some rain and cooler weather.  I’m not sure why I should be so surprised; many of these plants also grow well in the UK with even more rain and lower temperatures.  Roses have flowered for much of July and some are continuing now as you can see in the slideshow.

Rosa Sally Holmes

Roses in flower now include: R. Westerland, R. Clair Matin, R. William Shakespeare, R. Tradescant, R. Queen of Sweden, R. Gertrude Jekyll, R. Sophie’s Perpetual, R. Molineux, R Rush, R. Mutabilis (this hasn’t been without flowers since April), R. Scepter’d Isle, R Stanwell Perpetual and the beautiful R. Sally Holmes whose flowers form a bouquet all on their own.

The formal beds of Perovskia have remained a cloud of blue; in the past they have lost their intensity of colour during August only to re-flower with the rains that usually come in September.

The blue haze of the Perovskia

.  The surrounding lavender was cut back at the end of July and is already sending out new growth.  I know is going to sound crazy but I actually prefer the lavender when it is pruned into a neat hedge than when it full of flower and bees.  I am considering removing the Lavender and putting in Myrtle but they are expensive so I would need to produce them myself from cuttings.  Knowing how slowly they grow this just might take too long!

All the grasses are looking lovely, I may have said it before but it remains true that I think I could be happy just gardening with grasses.

In the Small Island I added  two more Penisetum villosum to the one existing plant; last year this formed a very beautiful mound and I thought that three would make a good statement – I acted without knowing the this Penestum was obviously very happy in this particular spot and this year is huge almost filling the space I envisaged for three plants; I’m happy though because they have all been in flower for a while now and I love the soft bottlebrush heads especially in the evening light with the fading sun behind them.

Evening light catching Penestum villosa

I am amazed that the Abutilon that was dead to the ground from the cold winter (it had been a large bush of about 1.8 m by 1.8 m) has grown from the base and is now about 1.5 m high although of course not such a large spread yet but it is flowering!

Click here to see a slideshow of all that is flowering in my Hesperides Garden.

Happy GBBD to everyone who shares the blooms in their garden today.

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Alliums and Roses

Sorry, I know I promised to post about Tulips combinations to hide their foliage but the roses are beginning to flower and are filling the garden with their perfume; I just have to share them with you.

I have to admit that in England, where every Italian thinks they must be perfect, I was never very successful with roses.  Here is different; they grow more quickly, have the long hot summer for their ‘wood’ to harden’ and dry summers that don’t encourage black spot or other fungal-type diseases.  They do begin to flower early, last year some began at the end of March.  This year it was mid-April when the first buds opened especially for GBBD.  Now Rosa mutabilis is full of colour and on still days gives off a delicious perfume.

R. mutabilis

They are forming a hedge between the drive where we park and the vegetable garden.

These images are the end of April.  Next into flower were R. Conrad F Meyer and R. Stanwell perpetual.  Both are in the Triangular Rose bed that links into the walled bed you can see above.

R. Conrad F Meyer

Stanwell perpetual opens pale pink but quickly fades to white. This is a very generous rose with masses of blooms over a long flowering season.

R. Molineux also opens early and last year (its first year) surprised me by how long it flowered.

Allium roseum, just opening

The first R. veichenblau, possibly my favourite rose

What is giving me most pleasure at the moment is R. Rimosa (known in the US as climbing Gold Badge and in the rest of the world as Climbing Gold Bunny) it is planted on 4 of the pillars at the front of the house along with Wisteria prolific, which I’m sure you saw in my earlier posts.  I choose this rose because at the nursery, when I saw it in mid-September it was flowering right from the base, and that is just what it is doing now, it has even grown taller than I imagined it would and it has linked up to form an arch of roses when I look out of the sitting room or kitchen windows.  This too is delicately perfumed.

Looking out at the sheep

Looking down from my bedroom window

Rosa Rimosa

When I planted this rose with the wisteria I did think they might flower together creating a good contrast, but usually the wisteria has more or less finished before the rose comes out.  It does make an interesting combination with the Perovskia when it re-flowers in autumn.

The old cliché of the roses around the door

Enough of the roses for now; A friend posted about her alliums this morning and I was surprised that hers, in North Devon, were at exactly the same stage as mine here in Lazio.

Allium Mount Everest in the small island bed

A solitary Allium Schubertii

The garden is the most full and colourful I’ve ever seen or even dreamed it could be!  (the downside might be that in autumn many plants will have outgrown their space and need to be moved) but at present I’m just enjoying the show.

The slope with Allium Purple Sensation and European and Californian poppies

You can see a wind sown Verbascum – I’ve never seen one with such large leaves – it will grow as big as the new tree next to it (Persimmon)

To finish and a reminder of the wildlife I love to see in the garden here is a lacewing and 2 blue butterflies doing what butterflies do!

A Daddy Long Legs feeds on a Euphorbia.

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Christina.
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