A Garden Stroll in June
The weather has been very fussy and on the chilly/rainy side but the garden is doing its job no matter what and apparently we’re going to have a nice taste of summer for this weekend. Today I came to work without a jacket for the first time this year: normally I’d come in shorts!
Ok I tried to disguise this post as a generic one but it is actually just another post about roses, I’m sorry guys, I have a lot of roses and they are all behaving very well this year, the chilly weather is helping to extend the blooming period, although I forecast mildew and blackspot ahead…
Sally Holmes is another hybrid musk, bred by an English who named the rose after his wife, I believe. It’s almost thornless and it has a real perpetual blooming throughout the whole season, flowers are simple but very big and the plant is very healthy and it grows pretty large.
Rosa Gallica Versicolor has a lot of names but I actually prefer its short name Rosa Mundi. It is a variegated sport of the plain rosa gallica officinalis and I guess this is maybe the oldest variegated rose ever, already known before 1581. The plant in totally identical to rosa gallica officinalis except for the flower colour, so it’s short, bushy and thorny. Scent is very good.
Since rosa Mundi is very short (less than 1 mt) I used it under a much taller Zéphirine Drouhin which is trained up a power pole together with Bobbie James, this latter flowering for the first time this year but hopefully growing into some very tall plant. I like this combination because the taller roses echo the color pattern of the small one. I just hope the final effect won’t become a giant marsh mellow… or maybe I do…
Jason@Gardeninacity recently made me think I’ve planted some summer pots about a moth ago. They’re grouped against the wall, under the pergola and just on the left of the kitchen door. The whole thing started with the need of having some fresh herbs to pick while I’m cooking (so I don’t burn things while picking some herbs…), basil in particular but also allium tuberosum (which tastes like chives but more on the garlic side) and a good sage that apparently doesn’t like to overwinter in my heavy soil. I also bought a couple of chili peppers and one month ago I could not resist to a small crabapple ‘Evereste’ in full bloom. Then I disguised all with fillers to ‘merge’ the pots: a purple leaved ipomea batatas, a white flowered bidens and a couple of silver helicrysum: one petiolare and one italicum. On the background there are a big clump of white flowered milkweed, I think the variety is ‘Ballerina’, which is very happy about this rainy weather apparently. Looking forward to seeing it in bloom.
I believe that milkweed (asclepias) won’t be host for any Monarch caterpillar here in Italy but I like the plant anyway. Indeed, some butterfly I haven’t seen yet this year is the swallowtail, my garden is usually a magnet for them but I guess I just need to wait a little longer and feed the babies: I think they are as fascinating as the butterfly itself.
I finally managed to tidy up the crabapple bed, I decided this will be the name of the strip that divides the Grass garden from the Rose garden. It has roses planted, tall grasses and the crabapples, obviously.
I like the different kind of greens and greys and purples and patterns of the leaves and the roses too, that you already have seen in close ups in previous posts.
Thanks to the dull sky I’ve been able to snap a proper picture of one to my favorite roses in the crabapple bed: rosa gallica splendens. The color is a rich crimson, the rose is double flowered, once blooming and sets big beautiful pear shaped hips in fall. The scent is intense and taste like spicy fruits.
Another rose that I love is Hebe’s Lip. It is a plain white, semi double cross between a damask rose and a rubiginosa rose (the one which has green apple scented leaves) but the particular thing of this rose is that when buds start to open they kind of get burned and when the rose’s fully opened this mark remains like a cherry-red rim all around the rose. Scent is sweet and strong, although this year the too often cloudy weather has resulted in less marked rims on the roses.
PS: I’ve published a post about a rose seedling I consider very important to me a few days ago but I might have messed up something a couple of weeks before, so that I have the impression my followers didn’t get their notification about it. I don’t care about comments but please let me know if you’d like a cutting of that rose.