Just before it rains
Since Sunday, it’s been raining “on and off” like a broken light bulb, but I managed to finish up a job I started the weekend before and that I’ve been planning for quite a few before then: re-converting the former vegetable garden. It’s pretty clear that I can’t manage a vegetable garden: too time consuming for a mere bunch of tomatoes (said the fox to the grapes…). Anyway, I guess some proper flower beds will look way much better than an abandoned vegetable garden, overtaken by weeds. The only things left there are three artichoke plants, the young persimmon, the even younger pomegranate and a very old and a very large clump of kniphophia uvaria.
First step was preparing the soil, I’ve broken it up roughly, mixed in peat moss, compost and a load (literally a load!!!) of shingle, used to make concrete and made of sand and gravel. Then I worked the soil again and for now the result seems to be fine. I am happy with that so now I can start planting the few pots I’ve recently brought home from the various local Spring flower festivals…
The vegetable garden was situated just behind the gravel garden and the squared bed (central in the picture below), although I am not sure I will be able to see anything from this vantage point in full season. In the picture you still can see some of the mixed sand and gravel I used to mend the soil; I’m going to use the rest to stabilize part of the gravel paths…
Now I just need a name for these beds. I guess they will mainly host roses, some grasses (not too tall and some drought tolerant perennials. Salvia greggii ‘Blue Note’ will certainly be planted here, as well as this beautiful early hybrid of rosa hulthemia (r. persica) called Edward Hyams: leaves are glaucous and flowers are rather small, single, bright yellow with a reddish hint at the base. This rose is close to the botanic form and related to those exotic roses recently introduced as ‘Eyes for you’ (and eyes for other’s too but I don’t remember all their names, they look like shrub peonies).
Other roses are bravely starting to open just before it rains, slightly later than 2014 which was a little warmer at the beginning of Spring and so pushed everything into flower a couple of weeks earlier than this year. No hurry! The china roses are always the first to enter and the last to leave the stage… Their only sin is that they aren’t particularly scented when compared to other roses like the gallicas or the rugosas for example.
I particularly like the small concrete water tank by the pergola.
The young wisteria ‘Texas Purple’, phormium and persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ are making a purple shaded backdrop to the little bright yellow buttons of nuphar luteum (an endemic relative of waterlilies in Italy).
I found that concrete tank not very far from its present position, when I bought the house. I guess it was once used to feed pigs. It’s been moved using rounded wooden chunks as wheels, like the Egyptians did with those heavy pieces with which they built the pyramids… This tank is freaking heavy too!!! there are some little fish in the water (to prevent mosquitos) who happily overwinter even under a cover of thick ice.