Something is moving

I cut myself out from everything about gardening lately (blogs included). The anticipation was too much for me, so I tried and concentrate in other things, at least until I found the latest issue of Gardens Illustrated by the door, coming home from work, and a few days later some friends asked us if we were up to an annual flower show not far from here.

We went to this flower show for the latest three years in a row and the last time I promised I won’t come back again, ever. I’ve been rather disappointed with the prices of the tickets, the parking, the food and the plants on sale inside, and after all the show didn’t worth that much. Now I know you might think I am a very consistent guy and I kept my world but… surprise, surprise… I didn’t.

There were only a couple of interesting stands, though, one was about old fruit trees and I didn’t take pictures because there was actually nothing to see but bare sticks. One other was about roses and I didn’t take pictures because I was too busy spending money (but I’ll talk later about this), and the third one was about animals made of wreckage.

Wreckage animals

I took a lot of pictures because I’ve been thinking about adding some sculptures to the garden, lately, and this kind of things could really suit me and my garden, I think. I simply love them.

But I told you we spend all the money we had left in roses, right? And still we left a 5€ debt to the lady owner, who let us go shaking her head and smiling… It’s a shame I couldn’t take pictures of the stand, because it was bursting with nice plants of roses, incredibly already in flower. I had some roses that I was looking for and planned to buy on my way to a journey to Rome that at last we didn’t make so I started pocking around this stand and found everything but what I was looking for except for a rambler rose ‘Violette’. Another rose, apparently very similar to ‘Violette’, caught my attention but the lady owner told me that it was an unlabeled hybrid musk. I really liked it, so I bought it. Then I also bought ‘Trier’, the founder of all hybrids musk, and a rather recent rose ‘Jacqueline du Prè’ bred in UK and named after this British cellist dead in the late ’80s. I love this rose because of its off-white and the prominent lilac stamens.

Rosa 'Jacqueline du Prè'

As soon as I got home I did some research about the unlabeled hybrid musk and I found out it could be a rather common ‘Robin Hood’  or maybe ‘Sibelius’ bred by Lens. I hope for the second one but I need to wait a little more: flowers had a slightly different colour after one week inside the fair and God only knows what to make them bloom in march…

Hybrid musk rose

When we got home I realized that during this last week daffodils put on a lot of growth, roses and fruit trees buds are getting ready to burst open, some grasses are leafing and the air smells differently from winter: sweeter and warmer.

There are a lot of viola odorata flowering here and there, they are native here and although there are many colours of native violas (from white to deep purple) I only have the deep purple ones in my garden. Not bad: the darker the colour, the stronger the scent. Then I also have small flowered pansies self seeding all around, I want to try them on a salad once, people says they taste nice…

amni visnaga seedling, pansie, mint and viola odorata

The vegetable garden is also stating to grow again, although my winter project hasn’t been as productive as I thought: Brussel sprouts are kind of undeveloped, fennels have rotten, and green cauliflowers are undeveloped too. Anyway red chicory ‘Verona’ are heartening up, resembling a japanese peony and I’m rather happy with all the rose cuttings that seem to have officially overwintered.

Brussel sprouts, red chicory 'Verona' and rose cuttings

Another thing I am very pleased with in the veggie garden is the artichoke and cabbage ‘Nero di Toscana’ combo. They are finally growing as I intended.

artichoke and cabbage 'Nero di Toscana'


27 thoughts on “Something is moving

  1. Lovely to have you back Alberto, I have missed your posts! I might have known that you would end up buying more roses, can one ever have too many roses?! Jaqueline du Pre looks very pretty, I’m not surprised you fell for her charms and that she came home with you! Your veggies look very good, you are way ahead of me in that department, I must get started with my seed sowing!

    • Dear Pauline, what you see here is what I decided to show but believe me, there’s nothing to eat in that vegetable garden but red chicory and some black cabbage… I planted everything too late, in September…
      You are right about roses indeed, I can’t ever have enough!

  2. Good you have you post again Alberto, I’ve missed your northen Italian posts! Sorry you didn’t make it to Roma but it means when you do come you can stop off here too. I used to have ‘Jacqueline du Prè’ in my garden in England, I liked it for all the reasons you do. Winter vegetables are difficult because they need to go into the ground long before the summer vegetables are finished; I usually use the beds that have had onions harvested because that is mid-summer and then there’s time for everything to mature before in gets too cold. I have a rose flowering in my garden NOW! I can’t believe it. Christina

    • I have to stop by your blog and see what rose is flowering now! As for Jacqueline du Prè, did you have a mature specimen in your garden? How much will it grow? Has it a nice habit?
      I don’t know when but surely I’ll come and pay you a visit

  3. That last picture is just gorgeous. I can understand about not wanting to see anything “gardening” when yours is dormant. But, I love the animals – and think some sculptures in your garden would be wonderful! How exciting to see signs of spring in your own garden. Soon things will be growing (almost) as fast as the weeds!

    • Hi Holley! Unfortunately I guess weeds are always a few steps behind, at least in spring. Then in summer they kind of slow down because of drought…

  4. You have turned the corner to spring Alberto, along with your garden. Funny how those blooming roses opened your eyes to all the life out there. We have little native violets in colors too– I didn’t know the secret about the color and the scent. Do you have yellow violets? Seems like the metal animals look like robots and might walk around so that you’d never know where they might turn up in the garden… That rose you bought (Jacqueline) is lovely– I see why you couldn’t resist it–and I’m quite jealous of your winter vegetables. I have cabbages that think me crazy to have put them out in the fall and refuse to grow until it gets warmer.

    • Well it’s not good for your self confidence when even your own cabbages think you’re crazy… As soon as I heard my fennel talking behind my shoulders I ate them, sometimes you just have to show who’s in charge.
      Native violets in northern Italy goes from white to deep purple, I remember seeing a white violet with purple stripes and spots when I was a child but I just drank from one of the forbidden bottle that afternoon…

    • Violets apart I don’t have any flowers yet for at least another week or so. I keep sniffing the couple of roses still holding to the new plants I’ve bought and that’s all for now… 🙂

  5. I really love the birds built of old engine parts. We have some metal chickens and a dragonfly that are a similar. I would have bought some if I had been there. Sounds like you left with a lovely selection of roses.

    • I don’t know how much they asked for the animals, I had already spent everything on the roses, so I didn’t bother asking. But I took a lot of pics and it could be fun to make my own animals if I found the right pieces around…

  6. Hi Alberto,

    Lovely roses – I can’t wait for the next lot to bloom here! Yours look very pretty and I look forward to more photos later in the year 🙂
    Nice to see you have violets already, they’re not blooming here yet but that’s normal… I don’t think I’ve ever seen them bloom this early, however I have seen them on other UK blogs…

    I hope you are well, no snow? It’s hit France etc, but I think Italy was lucky and missed all the chaos over the past couple of days (so did we, for once. But the south UK got hit, ha ha)

    • Soon for at least a couple of months UK blogs will be showing gardens a lot ahead than mine. I think it’s because of longer days rather that my higher temps.
      As for snow I guess I have to thank the Alps again. Yesterday it felt like mid April and this morning we had a kind of a summery storm.
      So apparently we are cut off of Europe even in the weather side… 😉

  7. Hey Alb!
    Ehh a Pordenone sono stato alla fiera per un paio di volte ma non mi ha mai entusiasmato…meglio quella che c’è a Padova Flormart…..Jaqueline du prè è una delle poche rose che ho e anche con poche ore di sole fiorisce discretamente…..saluti da London! Giacomo

    • Ciao Giacomo! Mi fa piacere sentire che sia una rosa affidabile, io non la conoscevo prima e invece sembra sia alquanto diffusa…
      Spero che vada tutto bene coi tuoi studi a Londra!

    • Hi Alistair! I’m glad you liked the animals, I loved them too and I hope all the junk my dad’s been keeping aside for ages could be of some kind of inspiration, together with the pictures…

  8. You definitely should be pleased with the veggie garden Alberto, it’s looking good! I haven’t been to a flower show in such a long time, maybe this year I should – as I do love ornaments and sculptures in the garden and would like some for our home garden.

  9. Hello, Alberto! I thought of you, out of the blue, today and decided to check in on you. I like the animals made out of wreckage! And the ‘Jacqueline du Prè’ rose is beautiful. By now your new roses should be settled in and quite happy. And about the edible violets: the leaves taste delicious, and I don’t know why these things aren’t grown commercially and sold at grocery stores! I hesitate to eat mine, however, because I love them growing in my garden. But I will use them, including the pretty flowers, sometimes as a garnish on a salad or a cake.

    • Hi Deb! You should see my garden today: half flooded by rain. Spring is here. 😦
      Meanwhile I tried viola flowers on a salad and they taste good. Didn’t know about the leaves though, I have another thing to try…

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