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May flowers

We're already on the edge of summer, and wonders never cease in the Missoni garden

Temperatures have been volatile to say the least all over Southern Europe, but Rosita Missoni’s Sumirago garden never fails to surprise us with the bounty of its flowers. Rhododendrons come in a wide range of colours, bushes bowing under the weight of the blooms, while the elegant peony (of the woody species) shows off its beautiful petals, so beloved by Chinese artists. And did you know that the kalmia, with its deep pink clusters of flowers, was an evergreen?


Speaking of clusters, did you know that the elderflower’s are edible? Battered and fried, they are delicious. Dried in the shade and crumbled, they can be added to cake batter to make it softer and more fragrant. And they can also be used to make a refreshing beverage, perfect for the hot days of summer.


Trees that look like other plants that are not trees: the flowers of the tulip tree look like… tulips. No big surprise there. Plants that can climb up other plants that are in fact trees: the clematis is a light, non-invasive vine that may be planted at the foot of old trunks, which it climbs spontaneously. Super-pretty tall flowers: we have compared the iris to supermodels before, and the comparison stands. The Dutch Iris and the German Iris are lovely beyond words, and did you know they all smell different according to colour?


And finally, flowers that look like Missoni: the Ottavio Missoni rose was named for Tai by Barni, floriculturists operating in Pistoia, Italy. Just one look at its striped, multicoloured petals tells us all we need to know about the name and its origins: it’s nature imitating art imitating nature.


Missed any blooms? See the previous flowerings:



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