April 22nd 2016 Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day

Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day for April; I hope you will join me in exploring the virtues of good foliage planting in the garden this month.

I have been wondering what foliage I would feature in today’s post; looking through my images there wasn’t one that didn’t have some colour from flowers and although I have often written about the key part foliage plays in supporting the flowering plants that isn’t what I want to focus on today. Continue reading

GBBD June – Looking for shade

Another GBBD has arrived; each seems to arrive so quickly now that there is so much activity in the garden.  Thanks to Carol at Maydreams for hosting this meme.  Pay her a visit to see what’s blooming in early summer or early winter (depending on which hemisphere) around the world today.

At last it’s hot, well today it is hot but the weather has been anything but consistent, rain, wind, cool nights, more wind and yet more wind that has been late May and up to now in June.  But the days are hot enough that when I want to sit outside during the day I am so grateful that the wisteria is filling out and the front terrace is in dappled shade.  A bonus is that the wisteria is flowering again profusely; I always think that the first flowers of spring are larger, but no, this year there are long racemes of delicately perfumed blooms hanging down under the canopy of shade giving foliage.

I tied in some of the new growth and pruned out tendriles that I didn’t want yesterday

The colours in the garden are heating-up; from pinks and purples to oranges, yellows and crimson.  I spoke about the gold of the small island a couple of days ago but gold and burnt orange aren’t restricted to that bed, they creep into the most surprising places, especially the Californian poppies which seed themselves charmingly into all the right places.

Just like the sun, yellow and gold!

The Salvia behind this is almost the same colour.

Tall, Hemerocallis

But there are so many blooms demanding my attention, click on the image below to see all the blooms in My Hesperides Garden today, they’re not all orange!

Looking accross the upper drive bed to the large island

Wisteria paradise my thoughts on Wisteria

I love Wisteria; all my life for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted a Wisteria covered terrace.  I’ve never had the space for one although I have seen them grown as a standard, and pretty spectacular they are.

When we were looking for a house here in Italy we looked at one house that had a  30 metre terrace covered by an established wisteria that was creating perfect shade when we viewed the house in late June or July.  I was sold immediately.  I wanted that house!  I wanted that Wisteria!  But the house was very over-priced, it had serious problems of damp, of having all pipework for gas and electricity running in conduit on, rather than within the walls and there were some serious amounts of something eating the chestnut beams – there was also far too much land.  So it had to be NO.

This house didn’t have a pergola and its terrace had steps in it so one of our first projects was to build a flat tiled terrace with a pergola up which I could train a wisteria.

Here's the naked house on our first viewing in early July 2006

At the end of August 2008 the formal garden is estblishing a work was about to begin - a pergola and wisteria would be mine

By October 2008 I had pillars to look between, creating a frame to the view

....and there was a pergola.

I planted a Wisteria ‘Prolific’ up each of the six pillars on the front, south-facing side of the house and waited with growing anticipation for the Wisteria to grow and fulfil my dreams of eating lunch shaded by the cool leaves or breathing in the heady fragrance as I sipped a glass of Proscecco!

The wisteria and yellow roses were planted in late October or early November 2008 but by April the following year 2009 they didn’t seem to have grown much; although the Tulips White Dream were certainly flowering much more than this year (2012).

There were some flowers to help my dream

The yellow roses performed well in May 2009

April 2010 and they are covering the pillars and beginning to sends shoots to cover the pergola.

April 2011, at last they are covering the beams and there are lots of flowers despite birds breaking off buds on the east end of the pergola

September 2011, you can see the wisteria is doing a fine job of creating shade

I have worked hard to create a structure of strong stems to cover the beams and wires so that hopefully in future it will always be relatively easy to cut back to this structure if it all becomes to overgrown.  Overgrown is, of course what I want for the summer so that there is always some shade to sit under and dream.

April 2012 this week

Looking down you can see the structure

Every morning I go out and breath in the heady fragrance

and my dream is coming true!