Spring is here!

I’ve carefully chosen this post title to ‘reply’ to a David one. I’ve been left behind for a while now as winter here started very late in january and it’s been very cold and windy. After that a drought spell delayed all the narcissus, even though hopefully it rained at the end. It rained a lot. So much that we couldn’t do any job in the garden and this is very upsetting at this time of the year!

Fortunately we had some bank holidays all in a row here in Italy, so I had the opportunity of taking care of the garden as it needed a heavy hand with weeds and with some other jobs on the rose garden paths. We started lying the gravel on the gravel garden (yup, finally!) even though we had to suspend the job halfway because the soil was too wet and I didn’t want a plaster garden!

Anyway spring is here,  after all! After the first rose opened under the rain, others followed.

Single Cherry

Single Cherry

Single Cherry is a hybrid spinosissima with a difficult colour to picture and a cyclamen scent that is unfortunately impossible to picture but believe me: the scent is so strong even under hot sun! I love this rose, you know I do, I loved it even before it flowered (this is her first spring here) and now I am looking forward to seeing the dark big round hips it’s supposed to set.

Single Cherry

Single Cherry

The shrub has arching branches and a nice shape even in only one year time!

Another rose in bloom now that I couldn’t get a proper picture is Zèphirine Drouhin, I have some problems taking pictures of deep crimson flowers, I wish Liz could give me some photography tip!

I think crimson is a beautiful colour for roses, despite I normally prefer yellow or white blended. The colour mix I love most with crimson roses is electric blue, like scilla litardierei for example:

Scilla litardierei

Scilla litardierei

Unfortunately I didn’t know exactly what was its flowering period as this is the first time I grow it. I thought it was supposed to flower earlier, so I placed it near some orange tulips that have now faded. Nevermind, it looks great with dark purple leaves of plantago major and fresh green of stipa tenuissima. I may get some more bulbs for next year as I love this blue flower.

Scilla litardierei

Scilla litardierei

Not far from the scilla and of a very dark purple too is one of the few euphorbias that managed to survive in my garden (the other type is e. lathyrus that is a kind of weed), it’s a seedling born in there after its mother died. Her mother was called Chocolate, and now that she’s dead I call it Chocolate too. The only problem is that it’s born in a very unpleasant place for a small euphorbia: it’s a dry spot very close to a big, frighteningly big clump of iris pseudacorus but I don’t feel like moving this little euphorbia, I fear it dies too. I shall move the iris clump from there somehow.

Euphorbia Chocolate?

Euphorbia Chocolate?

But I was talking about roses, right? So here are some beautiful light shade of pale pink and white blended roses:

Marie Parvie

Marie Parvie

Marie Parvie

Marie Parvie

Marie Parvie is a polyantha rose, rather small, tidy shrub with glossy leaves. She isn’t scented at all and the shape of the flower is pretty ordinary but she flowers so profusely for the entire summer and asks nothing back that you cannot love it. This rose is also referred as Marie Pavie. I tried and find something about the person after whom the rose has been named but could not find anything except for a certain Auguste Jean-Marie Pavie who was a French colonialist… I hope mine was another Marie though!

Rosa banksiae Purezza

Rosa banksiae Purezza

I can only show Purezza in close up as she opened only a few flowers now but it’s so crowded with buds I think she’s going to explode in a white profusion in a few days or maybe a week. It is a very vigorous italian hybrid of rosa banksiae bred in the 60’s, it is slightly lemon scented and it’s the only repeat flowering banksiae. I’ve seen it in bloom in december under the snow! The foliage is nice too.

rosa chinensis Odorata

rosa chinensis Odorata

Another good one is rosa chinensis Odorata, very scented for a chinensis, you have to pick the right moment, temperature and humidity to smell it though, otherwise it doesn’t smell at all. Another very reliable rose.

This morning as I rushed to work I saw Thèrèse Bugnet has flowered too but I was in the car already (d’oh!), so I couldn’t snuck my nose inside it, first thing I’m going to do this evening as soon as I’m back!

Many other roses are preparing flowers, luckily they are going to last quite long. The new plants I’ve put into ground are already setting flowerbuds and almost all the roses I potted up in january have found their place in the garden now.

Another good feature I have in the garden now is a tall (very tall, about 120cm!) bearded iris. The clump was there when we bought the house and it stayed there during all the work in the house and the making of the garden. Everything was set around it, everyone incredibly passed and never walked over it, so now I have this big clump of this big iris. It is white and custard yellow. I don’t like bicoloured flowers (and I hate custard!) but I couldn’t get rid of this one, could I?

Unknown bearded iris

Unknown bearded iris

Fly, disguised like a bee, on unknown bearded iris (she probably wants to surprise it)

Fly, disguised like a bee, on unknown bearded iris (she probably wants to surprise it)

I like bearded irises because they have a unique smell of perfumed rubber toys, you know those for children (never smelled rubber toys for grown-ups, I swear!), that your nose needs a little while to detect but after that you can’t get rid of it! Well I kind of like this iris now, I might buy it some dark bearded iris to make it some company.


30 thoughts on “Spring is here!

  1. That single flowered rose is so pretty, like a wild rose and scented. I am very demanding of roses that they be fragrant. I’m surprised you must take such care with a euphorbia–mostly the ones I’ve had want to send volunteers everywhere until I have finally evicted them from the garden. I do have one nice one, which is rather like your chocolate one, and it doesn’t behave badly at all. I like that they look rather like an import from another planet. Nice fluffy blue scilla! And how can you hate custard? Even in puff pastry? Maybe think of the iris as butter colored…

    • To be precise I don’t like lemon custard and I’m not mad for anything rich in eggs. Ok let’s say it’s a mustard and white iris (I love mustard).
      I am very very demanding of roses that they be fragrant too, I think a rose has to be scented to be a rose, otherwise it has to make up for it with other gorgeous features to be considered in my rose garden (like Marie Parvie).
      You are right, euphorbias looks pretty (I’d say exotic but I’ll go with your) alien. Apparently they are tough plants but they hate to be moved. When one settle down it self seeds prolifically and plants grown from seed are very resistant. Hopefully I will manage to have some euphorbia characias settled one day…

  2. Your garden is coming to life Alberto. you have some very beautiful roses, the first cherry rose is stunning, I want it too, but I have no more space. Christina

    • I can try and start some cuttings if you want, then I’ll let you know. I’m not sure spinosissima hybrids are easy from cuttings though. The shrub is supposed to stay rather small, I think what you see is more or less its adult size.

  3. Single Cherry is so lovely! You captured it beautifully even though I can see it is difficult to photograph. It looks perfect in its woodland setting.

    Your roses are wonderful, you have quite an extensive collection, I enjoyed seeing them. I hope more will bloom as the spring progresses, and you will take more pictures.

    • I planted about 50 roses in 2 years and I’m quite pleased on how they’re doing in so short time. I am lucky because my soil is good for roses and most of grasses too, which are the two species I love more. Anyway it is a very welcomed compliment from you, I’m wagging my tail 🙂

  4. Alberto, rosa spinosissima spreads like a weed with me – pushing up suckers everywhere. It’s the Scotch rose, so it’s not surprising maybe. Have you found this guy? http://www.peterboyd.com/rosapimp15.htm He’s a complete spinosissima fanatic. But my roses don’t flower before late June. Have you tried euphorbia palustris ‘Wallenberg’s glorie’? It ought to do with you I would have thought, and it’s truly wonderful.

    • Hi Kin! You had me looking on google for that euphorbia, which seems to be on the Chatto’s list! Very nice, shame no one has it around here! I’m trying again with characias wulfenii though.
      You gave me that link talking of spinosissima roses a few months ago and I have it on my bookmarks! Single Cherry is planted close to a ghost brumble and a pennisetum incomptum: don’t know who’s pushing who but it certainly won’t be my fight!

  5. I’m pleased you’ve finally found Spring, Alberto but kindly send it back up here when you’re done with it. I love the single cherry … and Zèphirine Drouhin too. Though the latter I find is just too susceptible to rust and blackspot and, as I don’t spray roses, I’ve given up on it. D

    • Please don’t talk as if YOU invented Spring! 🙂
      I bought Zèphirine Drouhin because it was my dead uncle fave. IN the previous garden I have it in a north facing shady position and it was a very big rose, rather healthy too. When I moved here she followed me but her first here she really suffered the hard pruning and her new very sunny position. I guess she needs air and sun to be healthy.

  6. We certainly need some of your Italian sunshine here at the moment Alberto and less of our cold rain! Your roses are really lovely, especially your favourite, Single Cherry, also must find out more about your Scilla, haven’t met that before, it looks rather nice.

    • It is the first year I grow this scilla, it is fully hardy and very easy to grow, I got it at eurobulb.nl at a good price. It is less showy than scilla peruviana but at least I’m sure it’s hardy!

    • I have to warn you it is very short and subtle, looks rather like an elegant muscari. I guess it is nice in grouping in a meadow too.

  7. The lovely single cherry looks really easy to prune, no need to worry about cutting to a vase shape.
    I think you may have alienated all your British readers by saying that you hate custard! In case your interested there’s an old english recipe (back to Henry VIII) called lemon posset which is like custard but doesn’t contain eggs because lemon juice reacts with the cream to thicken it.

    • Hopefully I didn’t say I hate foxgloves! 🙂
      If you take eggs and lemon away from custard I wonder what remain… A glass of milk?

  8. Oh yeah…spring is in full swing there, isn’t it! Looking at all these beautiful photos, it’s hard to believe the weather was so severe….hopefully the rest of the year is pleasant 🙂 I absolutely adore single roses, so Single Cherry gets my vote for best rose this time! So glad you kept that Iris…it’s lovely,even for a bi-color 😉 I love the blue Scilla, and agree, you need more of them!

    • Italy is a Country full of contradictions, even in the weather! 😉
      I also feel about ready to plant some scilla peruviana next autumn, very expensive and apparently not fully hardy, these little scillas were also a test.

  9. Hi Alberto,

    Ooooooh, that single Cherry is gorgeous!!! Wonder if I have space for it here anywhere?

    Just wish my roses would open, they’re still teasing me after being in bud for weeks now 😦
    I spotted my first beginning to open, and not even one I’d assumed would bloom soon… Tess of the D’urbervilles! Not complaining as the perfume is wonderful 🙂

    Btw, not sure if anyone else mentioned, the fly in your last photo is known as a drone fly; in case you were wondering 😉

    Looking forward to more rose photos from your rather large collection of roses!

    • Do you only grow Austin roses? Mine are all in bloom but far from flowering I think. I always bother about Austin roses, the flowers are good, they rebloom, they’re scented but the plants really look awkward most of the times. I planted about 6/8 English roses this past winter, let’s see what they do.
      I’m going to take some cuttings from single cherry, if they grow keep some room for one of them! 😉

      • Hi Alberto,

        Not only Austin, no. I just happen to like most or rather, they have what I want and since I also know the perfume will be amazing then I invest in them.
        The only none- Austin I’ve planted was Roseraie de l’hay which of course is also beautiful and I would never be without. All the roses in my front garden are unknowns – were here when I arrived so I’ve no idea their names or heritage 😀

        I’m assuming you’re referring to the hybrid tea roses? Now, I stay away from them because I don’t like their form and as you say – they look awkward. I prefer the shrubby types that provide attractive foliage and pretty, scented blooms 🙂

  10. We actually have some sunshine this afternoon ☀ your roses look wonderfuL As with everyone else I love the single cherry. In line with Dave Marsden please send us the Spring.

  11. It is nice to see all of your beautiful spring roses! I also love your scilla; the color is outstanding. I am most intrigued by your euphorbia, a plant I have never grown. Anything named ‘Chocolate’ catches my attention!

  12. Wonderful roses, Alberto, especially the Single cherry. We have only have a few roses and the climber Iceberg keeps getting blackspot. But i keep persevering with it…

    • I have a skinny and very disease inclined standard Iceberg. Now it looks like a stick with a white rose on the top: horrible and disappointing. This year is going to be its last, unless it demonstrates a little bond!

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