a few questions....

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zabarzan

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a few questions....
« on: July 25, 2011, 11:18:20 AM »
Hello there,
I'm new to this forum and I'm also a beginning Mediterranean gardener and a beginning novelist.
I live in the Haut-Languedoc area of France and my novel is set at in the same region and has some references to Mediterranean gardening. I don't want to make any betises in my writing, so I wonder if any well-informed members could help me with some questions:

1) could I have fragrant wild violets flowering in the beginning of May?  They can be at quite high altitude if necessary to make this plausible...
2) could I have glycine (wisteria) in bud at the end of april, just beginning to flower a few days later in the beginning of May? This would be at about 300-500 metres
3) could anybody suggest a plant that flowers in the beginning of april and is very fragrant? Is it too late for Mimosa at about 300-500metres?
4) Figs bearing fruit in June?
5) Elderflower out at anything up to 900 metres as late as June?

I'm ready to stretch the boundaries of probability, but don't want to write anything downright impossible!
Thanks so much in advance  :)
Saira

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oron peri

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 02:02:49 PM »
Hello

There are a few members of the MGS gardening in your area, hopfully they can give you good answers.

I just take here the oportunity to remind people to add some information on their profile (you can see how to do this here) regarding where they are gardening, climatic information etc. so that other members from similar conditions can get ideas for new plants they can try.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 04:05:28 PM by Alisdair »
Garden Designer, Bulb man, Botanical tours guide.
Living and gardening in Tivon, Lower Galilee region, North Israel.
Min temp 5c Max 42c, around 450mm rain.

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 09:29:06 PM »
From my experience in Greece including a mountain garden:
1 yes, much later than usual March on mountains
2 I'm not sure - usually a lot earlier
3 too late for mimosa, what about lilac?
4 no
5 yes
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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JTh

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 02:47:59 PM »
Reply to no. 2: The wisterias are at their best here in Halkidiki at the end of April/beginning of May.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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Alisdair

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 08:05:34 PM »
Q4: though no figs in June, what about big black succulent cherries as an alternative? At least in SW France we used to have them ripening in the first half of June (and with luck bringing the golden orioles to steal them) - until the gales blew the two trees down a few years ago.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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zabarzan

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 09:55:15 AM »
Thanks so much for all these replies - they're really helpful.
Lilac is a brilliant idea instead of mimosa, thanks Fleur.
I've already got cherries somewhere else so can't use them. We usually get our first figs around beginning to mid-July, so maybe I can rejig a bit...what do you think the absolute earliest would be? I think there may be a bit of difference between varieties...
I'll take out the bit about the wisteria.
Thanks again!
Saira
Saira

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John

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 10:27:31 AM »
Hi Saira.
It is really great that you are taking so much trouble to check this information as we have a tradition of the media be it television, films, newspapers or even horticultural magazines getting it wrong. More importantly not caring when they do. As an example there was a very popular series of the detective genre with a strong horticultural theme (perhaps I am not allowed to say which) on British television which became worth watching for how bad it was! That became the main entertainment value!
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2011, 01:32:48 PM »
About the figs, our tree in Zakynthos (Greek island in west) does have two ripenings of figs sometimes - just a few are ready in early July and then the main harvest comes in August. This year because of the rains the July ones were huge. All are best eaten when naturally cool in the morning rather than from the fridge.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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zabarzan

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 07:13:36 PM »
We get two fig seasons here. The one in the beginning of July is called the 'fleur de fique' locally and is much less abundant than the main crop...They say you will only get two crops a year if your fig tree has been grafted onto some special root stock...we're lucky, I guess, that the people who originally planted our fig trees did it. This spring I was very proud of myself for taking a fig tree cutting - but now I don't want to use it because our neighbours say it will only fruit once a year!
And John, I'm a bit intimidated by your post...I'm wondering if I can shift the season a tiny bit into the middle of June...It would really help my plot! Maybe I will just take a bit of a punt and hope nobody notices...;) ???
But I did rewrite the bit about violets and substitute lilac for mimosa!
Saira

Daisy

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Re: a few questions....
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 09:44:38 AM »
There is an elderflower tree (Sambucus nigra) growing next to the church in our village. According to Google earth, it is at 300 meters above sea level. It flowers in May, so one at 900 meters, would flower in June.

When the ladies of the village come calling, I pour them some Elderflower Champagne. They are extremely suspicious of it until I tell them that it is made from the flowers of the tree that is the same as the one by the church. Then they are happy to drink it. :) :) :)
Daisy
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS