Amalfi Coast Flowers

Life has been busy, a little too busy, the last few weeks. But I’m intent on not letting September and October slip away as they are my favorite months of the year on the Amalfi Coast. I love the close of summer, when the sun is still strong and the sky a brilliant blue. Yet, at night there is that cool breeze winding its way down the mountain valleys that is one of the first signs the season is changing. I haven’t had a chance to enjoy being in the garden much this summer, but my seeming lack of concern isn’t a representation of how much it is in my thoughts. After poking around and looking after a rather dismal garden for just about five years now, I am finally ready to make some major changes. But it is work that will come in its own time, and most of which must be done early next spring.

But, for the moment, the empty pots in the garden needed a little burst of color. I set out bright and early one morning last week to the market in Ravello, and came back with a rather large load of plants and a bag of dirt on my scooter. I’m sure the ride home wasn’t ladylike, but it was a heck of a lot of fun!

Autumn Flowers Amalfi Coast

I don’t know the names of either of the plants I brought home, but I liked how their color mimicked the bougainvillea blooming in the garden. I filled one pot with these purple flowers above, which make me think of what would happen if a thistle met a mum in a field of sage and fell in love. I open the front gate when I come home to this floral romance, and it makes me smile, even if it’s been a long day.

Mystery Plant

These are the other plants I bought, and no idea on the name either. No romances here, but I do love the tiny bright purple flowers. Right now the plant is about 10 inches tall, and the flowers should bloom up to about December. I’m hoping they’ll live through the winter, and if so they’ll be rewarded by being transplated to another spot in the garden next spring so I can fill the vases along the walkway with summer flowers.

And, in the meantime, I will keep squeezing in moments each week to work in the garden. It’s a good exercise in breaking the negative habit I have to wait until I have plenty of time to tackle a project. “Plenty of time” rarely comes along, and I know I need to work in small pieces. I’ve discovered that gardening is a wonderful exercise in practicing this new habit, as the rewards are so sweet!

If you have an idea on the names of either of these plants, I’d love to hear! The last two times I’ve shared mystery flowers on Ciao Amalfi, someone has always been able to answer. Here are the latest mysteries to solve!

  • Well I will also look forward to someone solving this mystery Laura, as both these plants are unfamiliar to me! Have a lovely weekend, I hope to take a trip to the post office early next week with your book.

    September 9, 2011
  • How lovely and colourful. It has cheered me up on this sombre day.

    September 11, 2011
  • The second photo looks like false heather (hyssopifolia?). The first might be some variety of strawflower, but not sure. Anyway, they both are very common in California. Pretty.

    September 13, 2011
  • Oooh, it’s nice to hear a local excited about October on the Amalfi Coast. We’ll be there for a few days in early October and I’ve spent the months since booking wondering if Autumn is really a good time to visit Italy or not.

    September 14, 2011
  • Hi Laura, Hope all is well with you. Thx for the colorful photo’s of your plants, flowers are a good mood enhancer.
    Hope your having a wonderful weekend. Chuck and Patty

    September 18, 2011
  • KM

    The first plant is a dwarf variety of globe amaranth called Gomphrena globosa ‘Buddy’. Indeed it is one of the ‘everlasting’ flowers and the papery bracts hiding the true tiny flowers between will keep their color for years when dried in the house. If left on the plants, the bracts will eventually fade to tan and then you can harvest the seeds to replant next year. Being an annual, this species naturally dies after flowering and setting seed.

    As you’ve found, the second plant is Cuphea hyssopifolia, a tropical shrublet. Let us know if it survives the cold winter of Amalfi, which honestly seems pretty balmy to someone living in New York!

    November 3, 2011

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