Which flowers take center stage in which month of the Venetian gardening year, regaling us lush cascades of bright flowers and often captivating scents? This is my personal flower calendar, based on which blossoms I come across in our own garden and in our neighborhood. This “calendar” offers only a small, favorite selection of flowers in full bloom here in Venice (so you can choose when to come and what to see …). Please return to this post more often, as we will expand the list of plants!
We start off in January very traditionally with our fair winter flowers – le violette as we call them (pansies). A few mistaken flowers of geranium might still be in bloom, but this is really rare. Fortunately, our evergreen plants brighten up our space all year long … Towards the end of the month, almond trees growing in a sheltered place might start to grow pale-pink blossoms in a tentative manner.
February brings spots of bright colors as the wild tulips wake up from their hibernation. Also, later that month, cherry trees may start blossoming on a particularly sheltered and sunny spot.
In March you can admire the rose-like blossoms of the camellias.
April is my favorite month by far – the wonderful wisteria comes into full bloom, by the third week of the year i grappoli di glicine – its purple blossoms usher in the beginning of the warm season.
Also, the first buds of brilliantly red, white, orange, and pink roses climbing up facades appear, and rose bushes embellish the perfectly kempt lawns of the gardens facing the Canal grande with their red, yellow and pink blossoms. The liies-of-the-valley, hidden in the sheltered spots under evergreen plants come into bloom in my grandfather’s garden. And – one must not forget the sweet-scented lilac twigs that brighten up a forgotten corner of the garden with their pale lavender-colored blossoms.
May (and sometimes April) brings back the slightly vanilla-scented blossoms of oleanders. They come in various color shades here in the Veneto: ruby and auburn, apricot, pale pink, coral pink, mauve, white, pale yellow, lemon yellow, almond, brilliant rose, burnt sienna even.
The sweet smelling white blossoms of the osmanthus decorate some Venetian campi and viali alberati (tree-lined streets) of the Lido by the third week of June. And, there’s so much pittosporum, whose blossoms often open by end-April.
Summer jasmine (gelsomino) then continues spreading nuvole di profumo – perfumed waves of bright sunshine in July, alongside with the bright summer flowers of geranium in full bloom.It is also the season of the purple-colored Mandevilla. Currently, the terrace is shrouded into a cloud of white, pink and red mandevilla blossoms, that will continue blooming until mid-November ..
In August, the impatiens flowers are in full bloom (see picture at the beginning of this post). And so are almost all the other flowers, though they might suffer a bit by August, due to the unrelenting mid-summer sun and lack of water. And, there’s the plumbago, but currently, it looks a bit faded because of a lack in water and so much heat!
Towards the beginning of September, to my mind, the light blue blossoms of plumbago are most beautiful, as they recover from the exceptionally hot summer days. September is also the month when the wisteria almost comes into a second bloom, less spectacular than it is in April, but you will find the one or other flower grapes amidst the light green foliage.
From the beginning of October, the flower scene slowly starts to change. Rose buds become more rare and also smaller, geranium and oleanders cease to bloom, and chrysanthenum (red, white, yellow, bright orange, sienna-colored) bring colorful accents to balconies and terraces, and altane of course.
The crysanthenum flowers continue to blossom far into November, together with the freshly planted cyclamen (purple, cerise, magenta-shaded flowers).
And finally, you may have read my previous post, it is the brightly colored Stella di Natale plants, coming in many shades of red – from crimson to cerise, but also in an iced pink and champagne hue, that are the unchallenged “main actors on the flower stage” in December and during the Christmas holidays in Venice.4