Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – Autumn has arrived

Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day where I share with you my belief that to have a garden that pleases you all year foliage must be a major consideration when choosing plants. Continue reading

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April 19th 2016 It seems like another season

I mentioned in my post for In a vase on Monday yesterday that the light was excellent for photographs yesterday morning.  Here’s a quick walk around to see the new flowers. Continue reading

GBBD There are blooms today!

The middle of November already, where has 2013 gone?  With such a gentle autumn with rain and sun and mild temperatures day and night there are still plenty of blooms in the garden.  Yes, there are the usual suspects, the plants that flower reliably for most of the year and they are not appreciated any less by me for that reason, they deserve their inclusion in GBBD as much as any prima donnas who excite with their rare presence.  I‘m joining Carol at May Dreams where gardeners from all over the world share what’s flowering today in their gardens. Continue reading

GBBD – May Profusion

I usually try to post every bloom there is in the garden for GBBD (for my own record of what is flowering if nothing else), but I’m beaten today!  There are just too many flowers and to be truthful even though I love every single bloom it is the overall effect of the garden that is giving me the most joy.

I will try to post about more of the flowers individually during the next month. Cistus, Eschscholzia californica (and not just orange), Roses, Iris – all deserve their own post.

Thanks to Carol for hosting.  You might want to peek over the garden wall at some blooms in other gardens so do visit Carol at MayDreamsgarden.

So here (grab a cup of tea maybe) is My Hesperides Garden on GBBD in May.  I hope your gardens are giving you as much pleasure as mine is to me, happy bloom day.

Rosa mutabilis on the wall that divides the vegetable garden from the drive

Rosa mutabilis on the wall that divides the vegetable garden from the drive

Large Island

Large Island

Iris Kent Pride with white blotched with brown Cistus

Iris Kent Pride with white blotched with brown Cistus

Philadelpus scenting the garden

Philadelpus scenting the garden

Iris Before the Storm with Eschscholzia californica

Iris Before the Storm with Eschscholzia californica

The slope

The slope

This cistus is one I took as a cutting

This cistus is one I took as a cutting

The slope

The slope

The slope

The slope

Eschscholzia californica, on the slope

Eschscholzia californica, on the slope

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Buddleia alternifolia, I am tryijng to train as a weeping tree

Buddleia alternifolia, I am tryijng to train as a weeping tree

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The pillars on the west facing side of the terrace with Rosa Clair Matin

The pillars on the west facing side of the terrace with Rosa Clair Martin

My favourite rose

My favourite rose

Rosa Romosa, South facing Terrace

Rosa Rimosa, South facing Terrace

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Large Island

Large Island

Large Island

Large Island

Large Island

Large Island

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Large Island

Large Island

Large Island looking towards the formal beds

Large Island looking towards the formal beds

Large Island

Large Island

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Looking along the back border from under the fig

Looking along the back border from under the fig

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Looking from under Mulberry along the back bed

Looking from under Mulberry along the back bed

Left Hand Border

Left Hand Border

Under Mulberry

Under Mulberry

Left Hand Border

Left Hand Border

Left Hand Border

Left Hand Border

Left hand border

Left hand border

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Rosa Stanwell's perpetual, Triangular rose bed

Rosa Stanwell’s perpetual, Triangular rose bed

Sambucus with lovely dark foliage, Triangular rose bed

Sambucus with lovely dark foliage, Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

The quality of the images isn’t as good as usual as today was very sunny but rain is forecast for tomorrow so I needed to get them today.

End of Month View – There is Colour Again

Incredibly it is the end of September already.  Where do the months go?  It’s the time to join Helen the Patient Gardener for the EMV.

My Hesperides Garden is almost back to normal; there is colour again, there is GREEN again.  September has been the coolest I can remember since we moved to Italy in 2003; after such an unbearably hot summer it has been such a welcome relief.  There has been rain, we need more but the plants have appreciated what has fallen and have shown their gratitude by bursting into new growth and in some cases into flower.

Colours are different in autumn light, sunrise and sunsets are beautiful and on the duller days subtle colours that would have appeared faded in strong summer light have looked bright.

There is perfume in the garden again too; the subtle fragrance of Rosa mutabilis is the first thing I notice when I step out of the door.

Rosa mutabilis

Rosa mutabilis is so generous, apart from the hottest months in flowers most of the year.  When there weather is cooler there are more apricot coloured blooms, staying that colour longer than when it is very got so providing more variations of colour at any one time.  The two links above are to different posts.

More powerful is the intoxicating accents of Elaeagnus x ebbingei coming from insignificant but exquisitely scented flowers.  I’m told the fruits eventually produced in April are edible, delicious even, if I remember I’ll try them next year and report back.

Lots of the flowers are blue; Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’, Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’ and Perovskia are all clear pure blues.

Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’, loved by the bees

There are also lots of pinks, they almost seem out of place at this time of year.

Tubaglia, these were divided in spring so didn’t flower much this year but are putting on a welcome show now.

Hibiscus have put on a long show this year, I bought another pure white from a plant fair, they are valuable plants in the garden, coping with drought and flowering later in summer and into autumn

Asters are beginning to put on a show.

You can hardly see the foliage on this Aster.

But more about them another day.

I have been busily taking cutting of plants I want more of in the garden, especially those that are drought tolerant.

My bulb order arrived this week and I have begun planting; it takes a while as I need to tidy and clear the spaces first.  I am finding that the spread sheet I created when I made my order with the positions of each bulb listed is making planting more efficient.

Another scented plant that is a joy when I walk into the garden in the morning or evening is the Datura; its perfume is so alluring to the bees that often they can’t wait for the flower to open (just as it’s getting dark) and they bore a hole to reach the nectar.

Datura

Thanks Helen for hosting this meme, even if it is a reminder of how quickly the year is passing!

GBBD – August – Will it ever rain?

Yesterday the sky was overcast in the way I remember August days in England; the air felt thundery, rain had been forecast but I wasn’t very hopeful.

At around 5pm I could see black clouds on the horizon and hear the constant drum of thunder, I even saw some small flashes of lightning; I could see the dark shadow of rain actually falling between me and the horizon.  Would it rain here?  With my whole body I was willing it to rain – I almost imagined myself running outside and being soaked by large drops of water, f it running down my face, drenching my hair.

I can hear my English readers laughing, I know you’ve all had a wet, cold summer and I must sound like some crazed woman who should be taken quietly by the hand and put somewhere safe.  But to continue, a breeze picked up, the breeze felt cool – wonderful; IT MUST RAIN!  And, well, it did rain, a bit, maybe 15 minutes of good gentle rain that the ground sucked in, and my poor plants almost seemed to drink in, and then the sun came out again and it was warm and humid all over again and I felt let down, as if I’d been teased by this small taste of what could be if it rained for a day, 2 days, a week!

OK, so today is back to being hot! Humid and hot, my skin is prickling, today feels worse than before but the garden has had a little drink and there is the promise that summer is nearly over.  The 15th August is a holiday in Italy, the Assumption of the Madonna, a bit like August Bank Holiday in the UK.

There are some flowers in the garden, although apart from some Perovskia on the bank, some Hibiscus and a surprise, all the other flowers are where I irrigate.

Perovskia

Hibiscus – the flowers are smaller this year but it survives with minimum irrigation

The triangular rose bed is looking full of bloom, there is a reason for this; the irrigation pipe has broken several times so the bed has been soaked and the plants respond by blooming.

Rosa Scepter’d Isle

Half the line of Rosa mutabilis are flowering, the other half are not.  All are getting some water but the ones that are flourishing are also getting a small amount of run-off from the vegetable beds; just a little amount of water makes so much difference.

This year has been the hottest since we moved to Italy, nine years ago at the end of this month.  For gardening it has been challenging and I sincerely hope that it will be another 9 years before it is quite so hot again.  By next month I will know which plants have survived their test and which I will need to replace with something more drought tolerant.

Two of the Hibiscus were grown from cuttings taken by a friend and I would like more; I’ve noticed she has a white one with a purple blotch, now must be a good moment to take some cuttings of that.

I mentioned a surprise earlier; as I was walking around the garden this morning taking photographs my eye was caught by a plant covered in flowers, more flowers than leaves it seemed.  I’m certain that 2 days ago it wasn’t flowering; it is almost as if the rain has prompted it into life.  The bees love it, I’m happy because I know that it is a little tender and I had thought the freezing temperatures might have killed it this past winter.  What is it? A Westringier!

More flowers and leaves, if it flowers like this when its a larger plant it will be amazing. Westringier

Click on the image below to see all the flowers blooming in my Hesperides garden today.

Rosa Scepter’d Isle

Thanks to Carol at MayDreamsfor hosting, I’ll also link to Blogger Blüten hosted by Gesine@Seepferds Garten. Thanks to both for hosting this great meme.

GBBD April – Spring Green

We have had a week of grey days and rain, soft gentle rain so far but storms are predicted. Everything is green, even the silver plants look green as their hairs lie flat against the leaf and stop diffusing the light so they are green instead of silver.  Lavender, Perovskia plus the fresh new foliage of the box all add to the green-ness!

The Lavender and Perovskia are almost as green as the Box

Despite the warm winter most plants are slightly shier to bloom this spring, the freezing cold weather in February has obviously had its effect.  In the middle of the week when I walked around wondering what would be flowering for 2012’s April GBBD I believed there were far fewer blooms than last year; and it is true that some plants are just beginning to flower instead of being in full-bloom but today when I ventured out between the showers I found some tight buds had opened so that this April’s post is more similar to last years than I thought.  If you would like to compare with last year please click here.

The yellow roses are just opening to complement the wisteria

Even the weather is not dissimilar to last year, so spring rain is not unusual … and thank goodness for that as the ground was very dry – we have had virtually no rain for a year except for the flood in September.  Temperatures are lower than they were a month ago we had a slight frost the other morning and tonight is forecast to dip to 3°C so I haven’t planted out my tomatoes just yet although they are getting tall and have flowers so I would like to get them into the ground.

It seems early for cistus but it was flowering last year at this time too.

....and this is a very early Thyme

R. mutablis

There are fat buds on many of the Bearded Irises so they won’t be long; all the roses are full of bud and hope for a good show, Rosa mutabilis is always the first to have a lot of bloom and this year is no exception, I do think this is such a good value rose.  It flowers for 9 months of the year and the foliage is a great colour and very healthy.

April is THE month for tulips!

Click on the image below to see all the blooms in My Hesperides Garden this April GBBD, and a very happy Bloom Day to all gardeners everywhere.

I’m linking to Carol at Maydreams who hosts this interesting meme.  Visit her to see what’s happening in other parts of the world at this special time of year- spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere.  From recent posts it seems much of the world is having rain – always good for the garden.