The season has definitely turned in the Northern Italian countryside, and although meteorologists are expecting one last temperature spike – an Indian summer – autumn is finally here in all its multi-coloured glory. And with the change of season, Rosita Missoni’s garden has yielded yet another harvest of gorgeous blooms for your viewing pleasure.
Anyone who has grown up near a field is familiar with the delicate cup shape of the Crocus sativus, a perennial plant that pops up timidly on lawns as the weather turns cooler and hides a precious treasure: its pistils are used to make saffron, one of the most precious of spices. Hydrangeas are a staple of Italian gardens, possibly also due to their robustness. Rosita’s Hydrangea macrophilia, like all hydrangeas around the world, keep growing bright beautiful green leaves and firework-like flowers year after year, and the plant requires minimal tending.
Next up is Tricyrtis elegans: this scentless flower of unusual beauty comes in a variety of different hues, with flowers that can be white or yellow with pink or purple spots. This plant was discovered in 1851 by Danish doctor Nathaniel Wallich, head of Calcutta’s Botanical Garden, who found it during a Himalayan expedition.
Tricyrtis elegans has always been unfairly overlooked, but it is currently making a comeback on the horticultural scene. The Euonymus europeus, or spindle, is a small tree with leaves that go from summer green to autumn yellowish green and brown. Its graceful branches are laden with small reddish fruits, which provide sustenance for birds and insects. All in all, it is a shy and unassuming plant compared to its cousin, the Euonymus alatus or winged spindle, which takes its name from the unusual shape of its bark (which looks like it is developing tiny wings). Its flowers are much less impressive than its fruit, a brilliant red that splits open when ripe to release its orange seeds. In the autumn, the whole tree turns from green to a vivid shade of red that has earned it the rather biblical nickname of “burning bush”.
Did you like October flowering? Take a look at September’s collection!