Update from my Hesperides Garden

A belated very Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope 2011 will bring all gardeners just what they need in terms of flower display and vegetable production.

I’ve been unable to post as I computer stopped working almost immediately we returned in the New Year.  Then as usual with a new computer I’ve had issues with various programs not working – most importantly my ability to upload photos to the computer just hasn’t worked.  Today I have managed to upload some photos I took for bloomday but it has to be said that the ‘progress’ of the new system meant it took about 3 times as long as normal.

Lonicera fragrantissima smells wonderful

We had an amazing beginning to January, with temperatures as high as the mid 20s Centigrade (last weekend I was able to work outside all day and was actually felt too hot for some of the time.  It was also hot enough to eat lunch outside on Sunday and I had to wear sunglasses all day!  It has been a real bonus to have about 10 days of perfect gardening weather- I finished planting all the bulbs, except for some Regal Lilly I bought to go in pots.  My great achievement was to prune the Wisteria on the pergola around the house.  It was important to get the structure growing strongly so that we will have shade all around the house in summer.  Now I am waiting excitedly to see how well it will flower this spring.

Prostrate Rosemary is full of flower

In the vegetable garden I’ve managed to clear all the beds of last year’s crops and plant garlic and shallots.  After I’d planted the garlic I read that it shouldn’t be planted at the new moon and it was exactly the new moon that day!  The book said that they would all push up…… and that’s what they have done though they are shooting so all may not be lost.  I keep pushing them back down but they just pop up again.

A few more Muscari are flowering

After our glorious sunny days the weather has now returned to winter with some snow falling on Friday and Saturday – not very much actually here but the hills we can see from the house ae still covered with a sprinkling of snow.  The temperatures are hovering around zero and the wind is blowing from the NE (Greciale) I think this is the coldest wind we have though the locals all think the Tramontana (from the north) is the coldest.

All the Teucrium are flowering - they are such reliable plants

The Viburnum I planted this autumn is flowering well and I am enjoying having these fragrant plants that attract bees on warm days

All these plants were flowering on 15th January and most will hopefully continue even with the return of the cold weather, I’ve seen tulip and daffodil shoots which fill me anticipation; and new green shoots on the Box cubes in the formal garden at the front of the house.

Amazing difference in colour of the new growth on the Box

Brave Arabis, that I grew from seed, cover the ground under the Pomegranate

Buds on Viburnum tinus about to open

Viburnum tinus is a plant that just doesn’t grow as well here as it does in the UK.  The flowers don’t open until February or March and then when the flowers finish the shrub looks like its dying for a month or so until the new growth takes over.

Thr plant I am enjoying the most in the garden this month is Nandino – it has beautiful pink tinged foliage and red berries.