Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent (what happened to November, I have no idea, it seems only yesterday that it was the end of September) so of course today’s flowers must respect the tradition and so I’m sharing my Advent crown with you today. Continue reading
Tuesday View – 26th July 2016
Cathy at Words and Herbs asks us to choose one view of our garden and show it each week. It is a great exercise for learning how much (or little) a view changes during the seasons. Continue reading
GBFD – June sunshine and rain
Welcome to GBFD, when I encourage you think about the effect foliage has on the overall design of your garden. You are welcome to write about any foliage, it can be a plant you have only for its foliage interest or better perhaps if you think about a plan that flowers for a limited time but its foliage is beautiful or interesting or makes an interesting form for a longer period.
The difference between May and June is hardly credible, I looked at last month’s post to remind myself of what I had shown, I don’t want to always share the same views or plants. But even the same plant groupings look very different this month so there are some repetitions. We have had massive amounts of rain in the last week, beginning last Saturday there have been thunder storms and heavy rain almost every day. It seems that we will have a few days of hot sun but the rain is predicted to return on Thursday or Friday (but that’s a long way off in forecasting terms so who knows if it will rain again or not as we are approaching the time when the summer drought usually begins in earnest. Continue reading
GBFD – Silver and Purple
When it is hot and it is very HOT, the light shimmers and plants with silver or grey foliage look their very best.
The combination of silver and purple always looks great together; sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ seems to love the heat and its colour is better than ever.
GBBD Summer at Last!
Until this past Monday, 10th June, the weather here in central Lazio as not been its usual sunny and warm self. Then as the forecasters promised Tuesday the temperature has noticeably risen; the air feels warmer and the afternoon wind from the sea began to blow. Actually just a few moments ago when I was taking photographs there was a mini-whirlwind; I looked around and thought the sky was full of strange birds but instead it was hay that had just been cut from the field behind the house, moments later it passed through the garden lifting dropped petals high into the air, sorry I didn’t manage to get a clear image. Continue reading
GBFD – There may be masses of blooms but the Foliage is what holds it all together
The title of this month’s GBFD post says it all really. When I went into the garden to photograph foliage this morning I thought it might be difficult this month to take images that didn’t feature flowers rather than foliage. But then as I walked around I was reminded why I had wanted to start GBFD; Foliage is EVERYTHING in a garden. In some seasons it might be all there is, but when it is spring and the garden shouts with colour and tells me it is truly spring it is the foliage that makes the blooms sing in a harmonious way.
The garden is full of colour, maybe more colour than at any other time of year; yet without the foliage the garden would be nothing!
Silver foliage is a strong part of my Mediterranean garden, the bright spring light makes the silver leaves shimmer and also make a wonderful contrast to Tulip Negrita.
Remember sometimes to turn your images into tones of grey to help you understand the forms and texture that your plants are creating.
Some large round leaves would be a good addition here.
There is of course the pattern and colour you enjoy only when getting close.
Hedges are very important for the form and texture they provide in the garden, the back of my garden Has Photinia, giving orangey-red new foliage which emphasises the colour of Tulips Brown Sugar and gives a good background to the rest of the garden always.
Please feel free to use GBFD in your own way; to maybe highlight one plant that is making an impact this month in your garden or to show the combinations that work for you. Please post and add a link to your comment. I really look forward to seeing what is happening in other gardens. I hope you are enjoying spring as much as I am.
June – visitors to the garden
The gardens is full of butterflies and bees. They love the Lavender (this is a good reason to keep it).
I have seen Swallowtail butterflies, a black and white butterfly that comes rarely to the garden that I never manage to photograph and there was a mucher larger humming bird hawk moth, again it was too quick for me. Even the bees tempt me because they seem slow only to fly off as the press the shutter; I have numerous images of only sprigs of lavender when I hoped I was taking bees or butterflies drink necter.
I usually cut the flowers off the santolina before they open as I don’t like their colour, but having left them this year, I find they are visited by numerous different insects, so perhaps I should always leave the flowers for them.
Not just flies and bees like the Santolina.
A spider sets its web where it knows there will be many passing visitors which it can ensnare.
And these are from last month that didn’t find their way into a post.
But not all the visitors are harmless. Rosa Molineux has been ravaged by one kind of insect that I’ve not noticed in the garden in other years.
So if you know what they are, what can I do about them (organically).
I can’t leave you with this horrible image, so here’s a swallowtail from last month.
2012.02.15 GBBD What a difference a year makes!
In 2011’s February Bloomday I was full of hope talking about spring being just around the corner with bulbs flowering and tulips shoots coming through. I boasted that I was ahead on work especially weeding and I remember enjoying seeing all the signs of life to come, well what a difference a year makes! My Hesperides garden is still covered in snow, now icy and hard. It thaws a little each day but it is difficult to imagine that very much is really growing. Luckily I used a lot of mulch in the last year so hopefully weeding won’t be too much of an issue.
As you may have seen in January’s GBBD post there were still many roses blooming and everything had new shoots, I was panicking about when I was going to prune the roses as they didn’t seem to be having a dormant period. Luckily I pruned the Wisteria on the pergola at the front of the house; the white ones on the side are still waiting. Many of the roses still have foliage, turned red to protect the plants; as soon as we have a few warmer days I will prune all the roses and move one that I want to add to the new planting I made in autumn. The garden needs the moisture that the melting snow will provide; we’ve had very little rain since the deluge in September. The ground water levels need to be high before the long drought of summer.
The snow has high-lighted how many birds now live in the garden; when we moved here, there were few plants to help feed the birds during winter, now there are more hedges for the birds to nest in and many seeds and fruits for them to eat. In the snow I saw the impression of wing beats of the Little owl where it had taken some small bird or perhaps a mouse, I left a few pomegranates on the tree and the fruit has been pecked clean; although I’ve seen birds on the crab apples they don’t seem to be actually eating them as the tree is still full of tempting, cherry red fruit. I do see the birds clinging to the grasses and so I imagine that they eat grass seeds. I leave most seed-heads during the winter for their interesting forms and also to the birds. This is the first 15th of the month when there have been no flowers for a Bloomday post; so now I understand why Carol dreams of May! I’m dreaming too this month so if you want to see some terrific blooms from around the world visit Carol at Maydreamsgarden. Carol has more blooms than me this month so this might her fell happier.
Don’t forget Garden Blogger’s Foliage day on the 22nd of each month; what’s looking good for you foliage wise?