What’s up, buds?

“Not much, really, just getting ready to spring…”

Buds are starting to burst in almost every plant and shrub in my garden, thanks to the mild temperatures we are having these latter days. The amelanchiers (above) are setting blooms instead of leaves and I’m really looking forward to tasting their beautiful little fruits in a few months. I was afraid I planted these three serviceberries on the gravel garden (ok still no gravel on it but I’ll provide soon), totally south facing, while they are not very drought tolerant but at the end they seem to be happy, I hope they set deep roots.

Not so far the first narcissus are starting to unfold calmly their first petals. I think they might be ‘February Gold’ – hey guys february has long gone now, so let’s make a move, ok? – . I’ve planted so many narcissus varieties last winter, I don’t even remember what I put where but I’ve made a file with pics to help me recognize them as far as they flower (I’m actually wandering around the garden, consulting my iPhone and trying to make a guess on them, like doctors on morning visits…).

The only things I actually have in bloom are the six osmanthus x burkwoodii which will become soon the six cube-shaped osmanthus in a new bed I’m working on. The scent is pretty good: sweet and citrus.

Allium aflatunense break the soil like a little green shuttle, then enlarge its grey green leaves to set at the end a nice round explosion of little stars. I just love it and it is one of the few reliable (rather) big flowering alliums for heavy soils. I planted a mix of 10 a. aflatunense and 10 a. aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’, I hope they will put on a good show next to iris pallida in maybe May. Weeds are growing pretty good too, aren’t they?

In the rose garden there’s still a lot to do this year but at least most of the roses are alive, and some of them stopped dying, let’s wait and see. I had problems mostly with the chinese roses, while hybrids rugosa and hybrids spinosissima, which always look pretty dead in winter, are now producing green buds and tiny little leaves like mad! (the one in the picture is hybr. rugosa Sarah Van Fleet)

Rudy was processing a new bed in the grass garden, this morning. He suggests Dahlia ‘Chat noir’, white gaura and some feathery grass, maybe an orange crocosmia to break the sight… I told him to put it on paper before he forgets.

Speaking of the grass garden the first plant to overgrow the winter chopping is calamagrostis brachytricha, quite odd as it is one of the last to bloom. I planted also calamagrostis brachytricha ‘Corea’ last year which looks pretty bad now, I guess it didn’t make it.

Here with wooden chips and the dried grass, weeds are discouraged, except for that dandelion which I’m going to eat raw tonight, root included.

The sedum spot is growing pretty good this year. There is more than 1 square meter planted with sedum Xenox, s. Matrona (above) and another unknown sedum, all the plants are cuttings, sedums are very easy from cuttings I may take more and more this year.

Finally Ale gave me my birthday present  (29th January…): he bothered about the new iPad and an old  rusty fountain for more than a month, then at the end he did the right choice:


26 thoughts on “What’s up, buds?

  1. I have an amelanchier allee in my garden, I never get to try the fruit, the birds stip it bare the moment it ripens, hope you have better luck. Love your birthday present.

    • There’s one thing I want to improve in my garden and it’s wild birds presence. If they’re going to eat my amelanchiers I’m going to train a hawk instead! Last year they only produced a few fruits (the amelanchiers, not the hawks), which I’ve picked quickly and put in a fruit salad along with banana and strawberries. Amelanchier tastes halfway between a sweet apple and bitter almonds, very rich in vitamin C, I love it.
      Thanks for passing by and dropping me a line!

      • In Western Canada, they are called Saskatoon berries, and are very popular. Grown commercially, they even make jam from them. Now they are trying to start a media campaign, and get them labelled the next ‘superfruit’.

        • Well they are a superfruit to me! You are from Canada, so maybe you can explain me the difference between amelanchier lamarkii and canadensis? Because I have 2 canadensis and one lamarkii but I can’t see any difference at all… I’d like to taste saskatoon berry jam… 😉

  2. Hi Alberto,

    Lovely to hear you’re having warmer weather now and that blooms are opening for you 🙂

    I’ve just been out and cut back the pennisetum thanks to this post and your mention of cutting the grass back.. In fact I’ll run out again and cut back the Pheasant’s Tail grass too! Oooh look at me lol.

    Magnolia Stellata is just opening its blooms for me now and hopefully they’ll be out tomorrow! Just need to some sun to take photos… Hope the blooms aren’t ruined by the rain we have forecast 😦

    • I am actually praying for some rain, we really need it here!
      Pheasant’s Tail grass is a very funny name for stipa arundinacea, I’ve never heard it before and you had me looking on google! I have this stipa on my wish list and I think I’m going to buy it this year.
      Hope to see your magnolia pictures soon!

  3. Ale made the right choice on your pressie, definitely! I too am taking lots of Sedum cuttings. They take so easily and flower in the same year too. They’re great for butterflies.

    • Yeah I love sedums, even though Xenox and Matrona, along with Autumn Joy seem to be the toughest of all. I don’t understand why they are so expensive when you buy a little pot… Maybe they know you buy one and get hundreds free? 🙂
      I’ll cut them later in the season, just before they set blossoms, so hopefully they’ll grow more flowers from secondary branches (a little later though).

  4. Love the fountain! What a great present – it was worth waiting for! And your garden looks like it’s coming to life – it will all be blooming soon! Rudy has some great ideas for the garden. Smart dog!

    • Rudy’s actually a very smart dog indeed, even when he doesn’t look like…
      Things are changing every day now and the garden is becoming greener and greener!

  5. my daffodils are not blooming yet either but early crocus, iris reticulata and a few others…I love that dandelion too…we can’t wait until late spring and summer to eat them raw with wine vinegar, olive oil and salt…yummy. Of course I am half Italian and my husband is full Italian.

    • Are you suggesting me that only in Italy we eat dandelions? It’s rather weird because they taste so good and they make you good too. Yesterday my parents came over for lunch and as my mother’s garden is behind mine she was mad about all the dandelions I had. So she picked a lot, then cooked them and at the end my folks stayed for dinner: boiled eggs and dandelions.

  6. I am fond of the amelanchier, doesn’t thrive in our climate although I suspect our Winter isn’t quite as harsh as yours. Your Osmanthus is looking good, we have one which has tiny flowers called Osmanthus Delavayi. Yes, the old rusty fountain is fantastic.

    • O. Delavayi is wonderful too. It’s strange amelanchier doesn’t thrive in your climate, the plant comes from Canada! I have them in full sun (and that was a mistake!), totally exposed to east winds in winter, the only thing they have is a good drainage, and maybe this helps.

  7. I hope you had a great birthday celebration Alberto! Or maybe just receiving that awesome old fountain was enough– beautiful! Hey I could trade you an oak log for it…

    That Rudy should open his own landscape design business. I hope you gave him a treat after he made notes about his plan.

    • I didn’t because his handwriting is really bad, he still needs to improve on that.
      I’m not sure if I need an oak log but I could trade the fountain for a new iPad maybe…
      Because the fountain has already been used on another garden and because it’s a little rusty we didn’t pay that much for it, I’ve seen a similar one but new: it costed 500€! Yesterday my dad told me I don’t need to brush the rust away and paint the fountain if I like it like that, a little rust won’t shorten its life.

  8. Great to see spring is coming to you too. With the warm winter (apart from the 2 weeks of snow and minus 8°C blip) all my roses kept their leaves right through until I pruned them, some even had new flower buds after the snow – this may cause problems with disease, we’ll see.
    Sedums are great, I’m going to propagate some more too. A friend ent me this link: shttp://lodgelanenursery.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-propagate-sedums.html

    • Hi Christina! finally you came out of the snow! 🙂
      Thanks for the link, that blog looks very interesting and I’m going to follow it!
      I tried many times taking sedum cuttings from single leaves but it doesn’t work well with me. It’s a shame cutting the top of my sedums when it’s time to take cuttings but it definitely worths it. Leaves tend to dry out quickly and produce weak plants (based on my experience).

  9. Beautiful fountain from Ale for your birthday, will look really good in your garden. Our Amelanchier blossom usually gets eaten by our bullfinches, but the bullfinches are such handsome colourful birds, they are forgiven!! Your garden is certainly coming to life in the warmer weather, today we have had sleet and hailstones!!

    • Sorry Pauline, I found just now your comment which went into the spam! I’d like more birds in my garden but I hope to get some amelanchier fruits too! 🙂

  10. Spring is definitely an exciting time in the garden. Your photos look like they could have come from my yard. Oh, and as for that fountain — I think I’m in love. 🙂

    • Hi Kevin! that fountain will have its important spot in the gravel yard, I especially like its dusty green, very similar to the colour of my shutters…

  11. That fountain is fabulous…can’t wait to see it in your garden! Those Alliums seem to be the best ones for my garden as well (heavy soil). I was a little saddened a few weeks ago, as the ones I planted last fall all seemed to be up, but the ones from the previous year were nowhere to be seen…I thought perhaps they’d not overwintered. As luck would have it, they finally appeared just the other day…whew! Oh, and I’m trying my best to send a little bit of our rain your way 😉

    • Hi Scott! We finally had a little rain yesterday, keep going please, we need some more! 🙂
      I’ve got those allium planted in my mother’s garden for at least 15 yrs! They come up and flower every year. The only thing is putting some sand or gravel a few cm underneath the digging hole, so they stay well drained.

  12. hello
    when i was searching allium buds i saw your pictures
    i love flowers. when they stem i feel something like flying
    this is the first time i plant allium
    its leaves are about 2cm now

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