" To plant trees is to give body and life to one's dreams of a better world " Russell Page

Monday, June 25, 2012

Plant Profiles: Convolvulus Cneorum

Now this is one of my all time loves! Convolvulus Cneorum  Family: Convolvulaceae

 Mind you we are talking about a relative of the threaded bindweed - Convolvulus arvensis, the one we all wish Creation had not invented!
In fact the flowers are quite similar, maybe a touch stiffer or fuller, but here the resemblances end.

The C. Cneorum is a very elegant round shrub, with half woody branches and masses of silky and silvery leaves.The texture is lovely and so smooth that you want to stoke and caress it every time you pass by.

It grows into a globular shape with very little effort - maybe a short trimming is enough. And what a growth! A well established Convolvulus is a real power plant, a medium sized pot can form a 1 m bush in two years.

The pale pink buds open into porcelain white flowers, generally produced in late spring, but when the plant is in a well suited position it can flower sporadically for longer periods.
It performs best in sites with well drained soils and full sun and requires some winter protection from extreme cold in areas above the Mediterranean.

Otherwise it does not require any special cares, some liquid or organic fertilizer is welcomed, but otherwise this hard working fellow is not affected by any type of plagues  - and this alone is a reason to love and respect it!

The Convolvulus Cneorum does a great job when planted wherever you need a big silvery cushion, between roses or in borders, together with dark scarlet blooms or anything that needs a quiet , low key surrounding - think about all those black flowers we talked about some time ago.

Personally I love it in pots - just because it makes such perfect silver balls - which stay attractive way after they got out of bloom!  In fact, in mild climate areas it is quite showy even during the winter period. The velvety texture and the subtle shade of silver green makes them suitable for any spot that requires a plant with architectural qualities. Besides that it is such a fuzz free plant when compared to the lovely but not so easy to handle box plants.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A splash of colour

Another breath taking Bougainvillea on the streets of Barcelona. This ones fence two sides of a sports ground. They form 7 m tall walls of deep magenta purple flowers.
Drought tollerant and low maintenance, these Bougainvilleas make the perfect planting and add an huge colour splash for month and month.

What's blooming now: Hydrangea Macrophilla

Here I confess my immoderate love for Hydrangeas of all types and fashions... huge mop-heads, lacy paniculatas, creamy and lime coloured Annabelles and majestic H. Petiolaris - the climbing giant one!
Now, living in Barcelona does not necessarily make the best premisses for growing this shade and moisture loving plants.

Never the less, a gardener is a notoriously stubborn creature with an iron hard faith in his capabilities and a pronounced taste for defying nature and rules atogether! So this is the prelude to my obstinate attempt to grow hydrangeas in this sun baked area - otherwise much better suited for Bougainvillea and other sun lovers...
On a trip to France I fell under the spell of almost 3 metres high growing macrophillas - which adorned a stone wall. I had to have that!!! An irrational urge - in spite of not having a stonewall nor the cool, damp place to go with it, led me to taking cuttings ( which had to survive the long way home).
Vite fait! the barren bits of branches where taken back home and planted in pots.

A couples of years - and many, many buckets of water later, this is the result:

Was I wrong to try? Over 40 heads on each plant were a copious reward for my beeing so stubborn.
And I love my French girls...

A nice week end to every one!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Who's affraid of magenta II

Some pictures I snatched yesterday in Barcelona... 
All of a sudden a cascade of magenta bougainvillea just popped into my sight and I could not stop myself from photographing it! 

What do you think? I was pretty overhelmed by the strength of this plant...