GBBD – Still Feels Like Spring

Well, mostly anyway!  The weather since the last BloomDay has been good for the garden; rain and warm sun.  Most plants have been tricked into believing that it is spring rather than the beginning of winter.

Rosa Sally Holmes is flowering more than at any time during the year

There has been a lot of rain in the last weekend; many of you will have seen images of Venice and maybe of road collapsing and swallowing a car in Tuscany.  For more about the rain click here.

There is some autumn colour, the walnuts have lost their leaves, the pomegranate foliage is butter yellow and all the Miscanthus are looking beautiful but other plants are enjoying a second spring and I’m enjoying it too; in a small way it makes up for the torrid summer.

Glorious yellow of the pomegranate

Ceanothus has a few flowers the blue of the blooms matching the blue Italian sky.

Ceanothus repans

One Cistus has one flower (yes, I know that one flower proves nothing it is an anomaly).  The moist ground has really prompted the roses into flower, there are more, even, than in October.  During the early days of November I was surprised and delighted to see that the ends of all the branches of the Philadelphus had flowers, they only persisted for a week or so, so can’t be included in Bloomday for November but they deserve a mention.

Solanum jasminoides Album is covered in blooms and will probably continue to be until some really cold weather arrives.  All the different varieties of Salvia are flowering profusely, I think I under-value them because I find it hard to get good images of them.

This post is late, yesterday I wasn’t feeling great so didn’t go into the garden to photograph the blooms, today it is very windy and the bright morning sun has made some of the colours a little strange.  You can see most of what’s blooming in My Hesperides Garden by clicking on the image below.

Rosa Rhapsody in Blue

Thank you to Carol at Maydreams Garden for hosting this interesting meme, take some time to visit some of the other gardens joining in this month to see what’s blooming around the world.

I’ve been reading some wonderful posts about autumn foliage colour, please feel free to link to Garden Bloggers Foliage Day on the 22nd of each month – I think November may be the most colourful so far!

May Feast – Some pleasing combinations

The garden is made up of individual plants that from part of combinations that create vistas.  I wanted to share some of the combinations that I feel are working well during May.

Cotinus ‘Palace Purple’ with Rosa ‘Old Blush’

Salvia with Hemerocallis Stella d’Oro and Phlomis suffruticosa

Rosa rubrifolia and Iris

bluey-pink aquilegea with Rosa Rhapsody in Blue and blue oat grass

Dark, moody Sedum with bright orange Californian poppy

Ground-cover verbena and Californian poppy

Iris ‘Kent Pride’ and Nandino

Rosa ‘Molineux’ with Iris

What combinations are pleasing you this month?

May Feast – Rosa Rhapsody in Blue

Described as: Rhapsody In Blue has fragrant, shiny purple flowers that fade to slate blue the closest thing yet to a blue rose. A healthy, robust grower that will make a tall, bushy shrub that repeats well. 4.5 ft x 3 ft.

When choosing roses to buy there are several criteria that help me make my decision.  Firstly a rose should be deliciously perfumed; a rose without fragrance is like a wedding without the bride.   It should be a beautiful colour (this really goes without saying); thirdly and this may seem strange, it is essential that the bloom is beautiful in bud, as it opens and in full flower, but also essential is how it dies!  Rhapsody in Blue is almost more beautiful as it ages and turns a delightful fading grey-mauve.

I have 3 planted together in the left hand border; they were planted in May 2007.  I have pruned them quite hard to produce very bushy plants but I will allow them to grow taller now they are strongly established.

The left hand border looking from the Mulberry tree

Again from under the mulberry tree with R. Rhapsody in Blue in the background

Mid way through its flowering life

Some blooms are marked with white

Combining with a similar coloued aquiligea and blue grass

Here on 25th April

It is one of my favourite roses.