View from my kitchen window

Like any other gardener, when I am inside the house I am often looking out of the windows at the garden; indeed some of the vistas are designed to be seen and enjoyed from the windows. Continue reading

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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.

GBBD March – spring begins

Not in the sense that we have spring weather, no, it is cold, it is wet and the winds have been gale force; there has been some sun but mostly March has definitely come in like a lion…..

But despite this, blooms have opened, some bulbs are already finished, Crocus have been shredded by the whipping wind and Iris reticulate, although lasting longer than other years are now putting on foliage rather than flowering.

The best blooms are still the Anemone sylphide, close to them the other bulbs I chose for their similar fuchsia pink colour are showing their buds.  Hyacinth Miss Saigon, another bulb I’ve never grown before will be open in a few days and Barcelona, Persian Pearl or Antraciet Tulips are showing colour in their buds.  I don’t know which tulip this is because I planted all three here hoping for a continuation of intense colour, I’ll know when it is fully open I hope.

Anemone Sylphide

Anemone Sylphide, no apologies for showing these again!

Hyacinth Miss Saigon

Hyacinth Miss Saigon

Barcelona, Persian Pearl or Antraciet Tulip?

Barcelona, Persian Pearl or Antraciet Tulip?

The plum is now flowering with the promise of small sweet yellow plums later in summer.

Plum blossom

Plum blossom

The rest of the blooms are those you would expect in March with one exception, Rosa rimossa on the south-facing pillars has two flowers, one has already been almost destroyed by wind by the other is more tucked away so will hopefully bloom for a little longer.

Rosa rimosa three days ago

Rosa rimosa three days ago

and now after the wind

and now after the wind

R. rimosa, another bud opening

R. rimosa, another bud opening

Ceanothus repans continues to flower out of its usual late spring season, the plant is dying back in the middle and I fear it will die, they are capricious shrubs that often die for no apparent reason, I will replace it if it does die, I am trying cuttings but they are slow to put down roots.

Ceanothus repans

Ceanothus repans

Cerinthe is late flowering this year but there are masses of self-seeded plants in the large island making quite a statement.

Cerinthe

Cerinthe

Cerinthe's purple bell flowers

Cerinthe’s purple bell flowers

Viburnum tinus still not fully open, it really is a short season here

Viburnum tinus still not fully open, it really is a short season here

Periwinkle grows in the hedges

Periwinkle grows in the hedges

Violas have been flowering all winter in large pots which will some be displaying tulips

Violas have been flowering all winter in large pots which will some be displaying tulips

Euphorbia rigida is still putting on a great show

Euphorbia rigida is still putting on a great show
Euphorbia mysernites is adding colour around the garden

Euphorbia mysernites is adding colour around the garden

A few Verbena are flowering in sunny spots

A few Verbena are flowering in sunny spots

Prostrate Rosemary is doing a great job of forming a strean of blue on the slope

Prostrate Rosemary is doing a great job of forming a strean of blue on the slope

20130313_9999_10There’s lots more flowers to come.

Lonicera fragrantissima is at its best now, sweetly perfuming the air by the drive

Lonicera fragrantissima is at its best now, sweetly perfuming the air by the drive

Teucrium is reliable for flowering all winter

Teucrium is reliable for flowering all winter

Clumps of Muscari are beginning to bloom

Clumps of Muscari are beginning to bloom

where-as Eleagnus is coming to an end

Where-as Eleagnus is coming to an end

Oestiospmum also have a few blooms

Osteospmum also have a few blooms

Thank you Carol at MayDreams for hosting GBBD; visit to see what gardeners around the world have flowering in March.  Happy GBBD to everyone.

2012 End of Year review

A view of Lake Bolsena on a cold crisp January day

A view of Lake Bolsena at the end of a cold crisp January day

December has sped past as it always will, with the busy time running up to Christmas.  The garden has changed with the effects of frosty mornings, cold nights and more rain.  And so another year comes to an end!  Why is it that they flash by so quickly?  Soon it will be time to begin sowing seeds – the beginning of a new season.

As I did last year I thought I would share with you the images that I used as my screensavers through the year.  Sometimes I change the image almost as soon as I take a new batch of photos; other times a favourite image will stay for weeks.

I notice how often I use the formal beds at the front of the house; I think I find the formality restful; not all the images are of the garden, the surrounding countryside also figures often.

Seed heads and berries bring life to the garden

January Seed heads and berries bring life to the garden

In Febuary we had snow

In Febuary we had snow

February: We were snowed in for a few days but the views outside were lovely

February: We were snowed-in for a few days but the views outside were lovely

To me March is YELLOW

To me March is YELLOW

March, Euphorbia add acid colour

March, Euphorbia add acid colour

March, Californian Poppies open their sunny faces to the sun

March, Californian Poppies open their sunny faces to the sun

April brings Poppies that carpet the countryside, my favourite wild flower

April brings Poppies that carpet the countryside, my favourite wild flower. I smile every time I see them!

April brings new bright leaves to the trees and tulips

April also brings new bright leaves to the trees and tulips

April, tulips and Photinia and new growth on Rosa Westerland all have the same warm colour

April, tulips and Photinia and new growth on Rosa Westerland all have the same warm colour

April, before the storm

April, before the storm

April, looking accroess to the large island

April, looking accross to the large island

April, the slope was very colourful

April, the slope was very colourful

May, a profusion of Californian poppies

May, the slope with a profusion of Californian poppies

May, Rosa Rimaso

May, Rosa Rimosa on the perpola

May, Irises

May, Irises and Cistus with olives in the background

June, Penesetun villosa already doing a great job

June, Penesetun villosa already doing a great job

June, ever present butterflies on the lavender

June, ever present butterflies on the lavender

June, the formal beds

June, the formal beds

June, not just butterflies feel on the lavender

June, not just butterflies feel on the lavender

June, the surrounding fields are at their abundant best

June, the surrounding fields are at their abundant best

July, more butterflies, here the false swallowtail

July, more butterflies, here the false swallowtail

July, of course many bees visit too!

July, of course many bees visit too!

September, the formal beds crisply clipped

September, the formal beds crisply clipped

September, Asters are the stars of the show

September, Asters are the stars of the show

September, Penesetum villosa still reflecting the evening light

September, Penesetum villosa still reflecting the evening light

October, Aster 'Monte Casino with Knautia

October, Aster ‘Monte Casino with Knautia

October, wonderful sunsets areone of the joys of autumn

October, wonderful sunsets are one of the joys of autumn

October The Perovskia was late to show its beauty this year because of the drought

October The Perovskia was late to show its beauty this year because of the drought

November brings sudden storms and dramatic skies

November brings sudden storms and dramatic skies

November, Iris

November, Iris unguiclaris

November, Miscanthus

November, Miscanthus

November, more sunsets

November, more sunsets

November and the sky is on fire

November and the sky is on fire

December brought and early winter, with frost every morning for 10 days or so

December brought and early winter, with frost every morning for 10 days or so

December, the formal beds from above

December, the formal beds from above

December, frost on alreadysilver foliage

December, frost on already silver foliage

December the light turns the Euphorbia and Argave blue

December the light turns the Euphorbia and Argave blue

December, Garlic Chives, Allium tuberosum, Seedheads

December, Garlic Chives, Allium tuberosum, Seedheads

To each of you who regularly leave comments and I count very firmly as my gardening friends and to those who read quietly but leave on trace of their presence I wish you all a Very Happy Gardening New Year! Christina

End of Month View

Time again to join Helen the Patient Gardener for her end of month view.

May and June are usually the best months for me; the weather is warm enough to enjoy meals outside, the garden is full of flower and everything is lush and full.  May was almost like this, but there were cool evenings which meant no meals outside.  The beginning of June was very windy so again not many meals outside and the plants in the garden took quite a battering.  In the middle of the month the temperatures soared AND there were hot winds!

I usually delay turning on the automatic irrigation (except to the vegetable garden) for as long as possible; 1, because I want the plants to become tough and search out water deep down and 2, as all the water comes from a well 100 m deep there is considerable cost in terms of electricity to pump the water to the surface.

As it was cool in May, especially at night, there was always dew on the ground each morning so I felt it correct to wait before beginning the irrigation this year.  With hindsight this was a mistake; the desiccating effects of the wind were pulling water up out of the ground via the leaves.  When I went to Prague I didn’t want to begin irrigating without being there to make sure there were no damaged pipes (there was one so I was right about that).  The wind became even stronger and the temperature rose to 37° – 39° Celsius over those four days and when I returned the garden was scorched, I used the term “flame gun” and this wasn’t really an exaggeration.  The irrigation is on now, I have been hand-watering to try to help some of the plants that were really suffering, but with temperatures now pretty much set for the next six to eight weeks the summer hibernation of the garden has started early!  Some plants do continue to bloom with minimum irrigation and I’ll be showing those over the next weeks.

Some plants will reward me with abundant blooms with very little water.  Rosa mutablibis is one that only needs minimum water to flower almost continuously.  Gaura lindheimeri is another that with just a little irrigation or run off from nearby roses flower profusely.  The groundcover Verbena near the terrace is flowering much more than usual because I’ve been watering pots on the terrace and water has run off from there to reach them.

Ground cover verbena benefits from a little irrigation to ensure it flowers all summer

Figs grow all around the Mediterranean and I’ve seen them growing out of cliffs with no soil, but mine needs water every year!  In past years this hasn’t occurred until August, but just look at my poor tree, and this was even before the last week of June; the first crop of figs hasn’t been harvested yet although any day now some should be ready.

Poor tree, it must have lost half its leaves

Crumpled, yellow and brown, the fallen leaves under the fig tree

Rosa Rimosa again has had only run off water from watering pots on the terrace is giving a great second display.

See more about this good tempered rose here.

However the grasses are beginning to light up the garden, especially in the evening when the last rays of the sun shine through their flowers.

Pennisetum villosum lighting up the garden

Another Pennisetum, possibly Karly

June is the month for Lavender and the sound of bees buzzing all day collecting nectar and of butterflies fluttering and dancing in the air above.

With the extra pruning this year I can just squeeze through the lavender surrounding the formal beds

A honey bee doing what they do best!

Silver-Studded Blue Plebejus argus

May Feast- Roses around the door

Well, actually not around the door but growing on the pillars supporting the pergola around the terrace and up across the front beam so forming an arch to frame the windows.

When I had decided that I wanted roses to grow on the pillars I went to trusted, local nursery in September and again in October to see which roses continued to produce blooms right down to the base even late in the season.  The only variety that did this and was a good colour to combine with Wisteria ‘Prolific’ was Climbing Rimosa.

This is the view I have from the kitchen window

Looking down onto the top of the pergola and beyond to the foraml garden

The shrub version was introduce in 1979 by Meilland and known in France (and it seems Italy) as Rimosa 79; in the US it is known as Gold badge and in the rest of the world (rather strangely for a large flowered rose) Gold Bunny.  In 1986 a climbing version was introduced with the same good repeat flowering habit and named Grimpant Rimosa, climbing Gold Badge or climbing Gold Bunny.  It is a floribunda type and is particularly good in hot climates.  It is one of the earliest roses to flower in my garden.

14th April, one of the first blooms with Wisteria ‘Prolific’

Beautiful in bud and as it opens. The blooms are also excellent at resisting strong winds – vital in my garden.

From the gravel path looking along the pillars

Looking along the pillars from on the terrace