This tiny post took some time - first of all I had to find and photograph those seeds. They were hiding in a mix of magazines, books, postcards, old letters, brochures, maps, and all sorts of stuff - mostly papers that need to be filed away or chucked. How seeds gathered in Japan got mixed in that is another story…
Then I had to find a photo of this grass as I saw it only a few months ago in Japan. I can hardly believe that was less than three months ago. Unfortunately this is the best photo I have.
and lastly I had to guess at a name… Please feel free to correct my shot in the dark!
Mimosa pudica - Touch-Me-Not, Sensitive Plant flowering in the Galeazza Garden
This is one of my favourite plants at Galeazza - and just this year I sadly finished the seeds of a three-year-old packet that I bought in the shop of the Botanical Gardens on the island of Brissago, Switzerland. The last two years the plant grew, but didn’t grow and mature well enough to flower. This year only a few seeds germinated, but some of the plants are now doing their pink thing, so with any luck I’ll have seeds to continue growing it.
Words can’t easily express how fun it is to show this tropical plant to garden visitors - especially children. To see why it’s so cool, just watch the videos on this Wikipedia page!
Awwww. The softest grass heads of any. They feel like little rabbit tails… name soon. All I have to go on is I think they’re annuals. I hope to sow them next spring if I don’t lose them between now and then.
Oh, How much do I love Google? It takes one minute or less to learn the name of a plant. These are seedheads of the Mediterranean grass Lagurus ovatus, commonly called hare’s-tail grass. I just can’t remember where I got them - maybe Palermo? Or maybe I pinched them from a plant place near Mirandola… at any rate, first they caught my eye, then my fingers, and then I just had to pull them off the plants, which were finished for that season. I see they’re often considered a weed in this part of the world - what a lovely weed to introduce to the Galeazza Garden!
The leaves of this “Red Cabbage” (as the Italians call it - Cavolo rosso) are definitely silver - with purple reflections. It’s perfect for mixing with the silvers in the front garden, so I’m harvesting and planting seeds now for some winter interest. It should look good in November/December when not much else does!
It’s time to harvest the seeds that didn’t already fall God knows where in the garden. This is one ambitious volunteer, but I like to save a few seeds for friends. With a gorgeous structure, beautiful flowers, and an amazing aroma, Salvia sclarea (Clary sage) is a must for herb lovers.
Just let me know if you’d like to have some seeds, and I’ll send them to you. A little Galeazza gift!
Today was an excellent day for me and the Galeazza Garden. First an Italian friend, Giorgio, arrived with a box of Iris foetidissima and a big old clump of snowdrops - over 100 bulbs - and then as I was planting his gifts, more arrived: tons (OK grams) of seeds from a gardener friend in Pennsylvania, Nancy J. Ondra. She not only sent beauties, but also wrapped them all up in the most beautiful little pouches I’ve ever seen a gardener take the time to make! How she manages to do all of that as well as garden and write books and articles and update her blog and take care of alpacas and her home is beyond me. Hers is no amateur blog or garden! You just need to look at all of her hellebore photos and text to understand that she’s a very rare and special mix of artistic talent, botanical knowledge, enthusiasm and discerning tastes! Rock on, gardener friend!
The dried seed pods of Tulipa tarda are as sexy as dead, dried out garden refuse can get, and I never thought about sowing the seeds until I read yesterday that they come up as tiny grass-like leaves in a year and flower after only a few. So easy and quick compared to the seven year wait for any other kind of tulip grown from seed that I’ve heard of…
and yes, I’m playing the seven-year tulip game, too. Well, actually bulb division. Something went wrong (or maybe right) with a fantastic “whurple” tulip I had. It was my favourite tulip ever - the most amazing white tulip with splashes of tiny dots of purple… at any rate, instead of a couple nice big leaves popping up one spring, it shot up about 50 tiny ass leaves, which i knew meant NO TULIP, so I dug up the mass of miniscule bulblets and divided them. I planted about 20 of the biggest and threw the weak ones away because it was a rather tedious job.
and I see the leaves are back up again this year - year three - a bit bigger and more determined than last year.
If in four years those bastards pop up and flower yellow or some other shit common colour I’m ripping them all up and throwing them away.