Not the right colour flower for the front garden, but here I found it (under the nettle tree), and here it will stay. After clearing brush from around it and giving it some sun and water for eight years, it has finally made flowers and will probably make fruit again… but by then we’ll be somewhere else, I hope!
I love my little earthquake-proof house and I love my hosts. Thank you Maria and Marco. Thank you for having me, feeding me, and providing a beautiful temporary home for so many Galeazza Garden plants. They like it here, too.
I noramlly hate bright, gaudy colours in the garden, but this almost colourless pink primrose is one of my least favourites of all… oddly enough it looks subtle and elegant in a photo! In real life it is just dim… not white, not bright, not interesting, not warm or cool or fresh… I guess it could best be described as “corpse pink”… yes. That’s it!
A few posts ago I wrote about yellow flowers of spring and the theory that yellow is more common in early spring than any other colour, (I know there are a million exceptions, but just bear with me) and if this is true WHY? - maybe yellow attracts more insect attention - pollination? This clump of yellow primroses is kindly cooperating with my theory - yellow is blooming now, while the pink, purple, and reddish/burgundy primroses are much further behind…
It ain’t just a coincidence, my friends, it’s science… just don’t ask me for details.
You are perfect, so beautiful that if I look at you for too long I feel like I’m melting from the inside. You are the symbol of the Galeazza Garden for me, and I will always have you in my gardens, wherever I go.
Five Frosty Photos: Number four; the Castle Woodland
This is a view I seldom see - a thick frost on some tree branches, but none on the ground. It looks a lot like spray snow, as it must have only stuck where the wind was blowing.
It’s also an unusual view for this blog because it is the Castle of Galeazza as seen from behind the main facade and entry. The woodland is currently under the “care” of an 80 year-old neighbour who is paid by the castle owners for his neglect, oh, excuse me, I mean maintenance of the property. His not-so-secret agenda (There are enormous stacks of “his” firewood just off the property) is to get all the wood he can off the castle grounds, so he can sell it. The agreement for decades between this clever little logger/caretaker and the castle owners has been: If there is dead wood or fallen trees, he can clear it away… obviously he loves a good storm! He also sometimes chops down a perfectly healthy, mature tree where he thinks nobody will notice… he also adores ivy (Hedera helix) because, at least in this climate, it is a noxious weed. It grows very quickly up and around trees, totally covering their trunks and branches. It doesn’t immediately squeeze the life out of a tree like a Boa constrictor imperator can suffocate large mammals, but it does prevent air and light from getting to their trunks. So sooner, rather than later, the weakened tree succumbs to the weight of the ivy (very heavy because it is evergreen and bears fruit), disease, and insects which thrive in shady, damp places… Hey! more wood to sell! Over the past 9 years I have seen many beautiful old trees disappear from the property.
Years ago I used to picnic, stroll, and work a bit in the woodland, mostly crearing ivy from trees and mowing the grass, but the more I did back there, the less the caretaker was needed, and the less he could continue his logging in secrecy, so he managed to convince the elderly owners I should stay out of “his” area, and concentrate on the front garden, where I continue to work for free.
Usually pink, and sometimes an ugly pink at that, this variety is white, and, well, just exquisite. Feel free to disagree and argue your case, but you’ll have a hard time convincing me the pink is better.
A true Italian classic, number 13 is Santolina chamaecyparissus, known here as “Santolina” and in the UK as “Cotton Lavender”, or “the true Lavender Cotton” as it was called by the undisputed Queen of Silvers and author of the 1971 classic “Grey and Silver Plants”, Mrs. Desmond Underwood.
Raganella! Hyla arborea (Linnaeus, 1758) - Zoom to see one amazing eye!
I’ve actually seen this little fellow grow fatter over the past few weeks. He must be getting a lot to eat. Normally he hides in the leaves of Miscanthus giganteus, but today as I was photgraphing him, he hopped down onto this wild fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).
For Stacey Hoshimiya, who after the earthquakes of 2012 helped me dig these “weeds” up along a road near Crevalcore when we had already been digging all day, moving hundreds of plants from the Castle of Galeazza.