A walk around the garden May 2018 – Iris paradise.

As I mentioned in my post on Monday; on my return from Amsterdam to see the tulips my own garden had exploded into full growth mode.

When I left tulips were still looking amazing and there were buds forming on the bearded Iris.  Now all the tulips are just a memory and the Irises are in their full glory. Continue reading

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GBFD – Spring Sings, March 2014

There is a definite feeling of spring in the air; it isn’t that the temperatures are higher than before; it is the light levels that sign out that winter is over and spring is here!

There are new blooms opening almost every day now, but it isn’t the principle reason that the garden is telling me it is spring; new shoots, new foliage and changes in colour of foliage plus that hard to describe ‘fullness’ even of evergreen plants announce that though there is still time for some cold weather (last year we had a very cold spring even into May) there is now no stopping the relentless urge for plants to grow, flower and reproduce themselves. Continue reading

GBBD – Spring has arrived

So the first Bloomday of spring is here!  Even though our winter here in Italy has been mercifully mild (maybe too mild, I saw a locust the other day – not a good sign) it is still a good feeling to know that spring is here and soon there will be no fear of very cold nights doing any damage to new crops planted outside. Continue reading

GBBD – April – the sun shines and the flowers bloom

The sun shone for 3 days during the last week and so many flowers began to bloom I have been walking around the garden open mouthed at how quickly everything is growing.  The Quince tree went from bare branches to a few leaves, to full foliage plus blossom in about 4 days.

Today I will let the images speak for themselves and try to post about individual treasures over the next couple of weeks.

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I apologise for the lack of spaces between the images but uploading them together was my only option.

What I can tell you is that I am walking around with the biggest smile on my face with the joy that spring has at last arrived.  I hope it will arrive soon with you or if you’re drifting into autumn (which can I know be like a second spring in hot climates I hope you are enjoying the season.  Happy GBBD to you all.

Visit Carol MayDreansGardens for more Bl0om day insights.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2012 New Beginnings

Almost everything is now dressed in its new fresh foliage for spring.  Even evergreens like Box are covered with bright green leaves, a reminder to me that they should ideally be pruned into shape now so that they still have some time, before the really hot weather and their summer dormancy, to grow.  This is the first time they have put on so much new growth; a good friend has a theory that the sharp cold weather we had in February has shocked some shrubs into producing for new foliage and more flowers this year.

April is the month when the most change happens most quickly in the garden.  Despite there being a large number of flowers now it is still the foliage that does the biggest job in making the garden look full and lush.

Looking between the circular rose bed and small island to the formal beds and to the right the back boundary border.

I think of spring as being green, but many plants produce bronze or other coloured leaves before they turn green.  This, as in autumn, is a defensive mechanism to protect the tender new leaves from the strong sun and maybe also the startling changes in temperature that often occur in spring.

I love the delicate colour of the walnut tree leaves, it is probably its most attractive just as its leaves unfurl.

When we moved here a good percentage of the boundary hedge was composed of Photinia, it is a shrub that I used to dismiss as being rather boring.  It is widely used here, as once established it is very tolerant of summer drought.  It also doesn’t mind the strong winds, either cold winter Tramontana or hot summer from the not so distant sea.  The foliage in spring reflects the colour of my favourite tulips ‘Brown Sugar’ and the new foliage growth of Rosa Westerland.  It also gave a interesting contrast when there were a large number of white tulips in the formal beds.  When their flowers open they are an attraction to the bees who love the strange perfume (I’m not so sure I like it).

New growth of R. Westerland with Photinia in the background

I happened on a post the other day written by The sproutling writes all about how she loves roses for their foliage more than their flowers!

Hostas are spiralling out of the ground, their new leaves pushing through the soil where a few days before I had wondered if they had survived the winter as there was nothing at all to see.

Hostas are just amazing the way they push their leaves through the soil and then unfurl. There are more Hostas on the slide-show

The silver-leaved plants sparkle in the sun and they are creating some lovely combination with purple sedum, Rosa Rubrifolia and Cotinus.  Dark Heuchera contrasts with Festuca glauca.

Heuchera obsidion with Festuca glauca

Purple sedum with Artemisia pontica

Here are some images that illustrate what happens to when a silver-leaved plant gets wet.  The hairs on the leaves get wet and don’t reflect light in the same way; result the leaf appears green.

When dry they look like this - silvery

When wet, they appear green

With macro, you can see why.

Actually the leaves ARE green and appear silver because of the hairs not the other way around as I described above.

Please click on the image below of Rosa rubrifolia to see the rest of the foliage in My Hesperides Garden today.

Did you spot the wasp making its nest in the middle of the Lavender?

All are most welcome to join in GBFD, just leave a comment and a link to your post (or wordpress will do it for you).  Happy Gardening!

GBFD Emerging from the snow

For a couple of weeks there hasn’t been much foliage visible in My Hesperides Garden; snow buried everything but now green is emerging from white and colour returns to the garden.

Prostrate rosemary, even more prostrate than usual

Snow can damage evergreen plants; pushing down the branches; the box were splayed open.  I wanted to brush the snow away and take the weight off the stems but the branches were also very brittle in the freezing temperatures and I didn’t want it to be me to cause the damage.

The beautiful early foliage of Cerinthe is more obvious than its flowers

There are new leaves on the evergreen Eleagnus

The evergreen shrubs I planted are now beginning to give the structure I wanted to the planting.  In summer with herbaceous plants flowering they tend to fade into the background but in winter with, or without, the snow they add form, mass and height to the borders.  I like the solid form of this Eleagnus  – it has formed this shape naturally, I haven’t pruned it to make it solid.  If possible I choose plants that will grow into a beautiful shape naturally as I’m not keen on plants that have been pruned to death!

Today the 21st the sun is shining and the temperature has risen significantly, from hardly topping zero centigrade to today’s warm 10 or more in the sun degrees.

Euphorbia rigida is anything but rigid but coloured bracts are beginning to turn their faces to the sun and suddenly it feels that spring will be here soon.

Euphorbia rigida

Euphorbia misenites is growing already

Fresh new sedum foliage

There is new foliage emerging from under the dead stems of sedum, I will have to remove the old stems and I will lift and divide the plants that are very large to increase their numbers; I would like to mass-plant some Sedum onto the bank.

Libertii peligrins is at last bulking up

Green and glossy Acanthus leaves under the Mulberry

Now that the snow has nearly disappeared I have found some blooms that weren’t visible on GBBD but in February it isn’t the blooms that make the garden interesting or that tempt me outside on an icy morning it is the beauty of the foliage that attracts.  I admit that what pleases me most is that it is still light at 17.32 and will be for another half hour, and the beautifully marbled leaf of Huchera ‘Plum Pudding’

Huchera 'Plum Pudding'

What foliage is giving you pleasure at the moment?  Do leave a comment and link to your post on foliage this month.  It can be about just one plant or your whole garden, whatever you like.

Is it autumn or spring?

The weather continues to play tricks on the garden – the plants are confused; is it spring? Certainly the roses, Hemerocallis and Photinia think it is; even the Quercia ilix have put on considerable new growth in the last few weeks, the colour of the new foliage is very obvious.

A bright green halo of new growth on the holm oak

R. Rhapsody in Blue also smells wonderful when I pass

R. mutabilis

Rosa mutabilis hasn’t had as many flowers as this since spring.

Hemerocallis are full of flower

Hemerocallis are full of flower creating the same combination as in spring with R. Molineux – this is the rose that really does believe it is spring it has so many flowers and buds I can hardly believe how lovely it looks.

R. Molineux is pure yellow again, in summer it was apricot coloured

R. China rose is growing so well; I had decided to move it but it is now growing so well I don’t want to risk losing it, perhaps it would be better to take some cuttings and when I know I have a safety net I can risk moving the parent plant.

Cerinthe major purpurascens certainly thinks it is spring or at least not autumn as sometimes it does flower very early in the year when it is still winter.

Cerinthe

On the other hand, the walnuts and fig  have now lost most of their leaves so they know that winter is not so far away.

autumn grasses, red new growth on the Photinia, no leaves on the walnut and fig, Perovskia flowering again

All the grasses are doing what is expected of them in autumn – that is looking wonderful with the low sunlight shining through them.

Miscanthus with Abutilon in the background

The strawberries are still providing a few tasty mouthfuls and the flowers promise more to come.

Rain has fallen this week, but more as April showers than the heavy rain of autumn (we have been lucky, you will have seen on the news the terrible floods that there have been in Liguria, Tuscany and in Torino); but the temperatures have remained very mild, still no need for central heating, so the question remains “Is it Spring or is it Autumn?”.