Species native to western Asia, cydonia is a naturalized tree cultivated throughout the borele temperate zone. It belongs to the Rosaceae family. Cydonia divides according to the size of the fruit. This sapling can, in fact, be maliform or pear-shaped.
The cydonia is a tree of mediocre size, it can reach a maximum of six meters, with unarmed branches, tormenting throughout its juvenile phase. The leaves are equipped with deciduous linear stipules, with a short petiole and hairless flap on the upper side, tormenting in the lower part and with an oval outline. The bark takes on an ashy brown color and is extremely cracked. The flowers are solitary and terminal, they seem almost sessile. They have a receptacle with a raised edge on which the verticils of the perianth and of the androecium are inserted. The glass is divided into five laciniae which in a short time turn outwards, lanceolate, densely tormenting, denticulated and glandular. The corolla consists of five white petals at the ends of which are painted red. They are also unguiculated and its outline is rounded persistent and a little increasing in the fruit. The stamens, about twenty in number, have free and thin filaments. The ovary is suited to five carpels which, by means of their lower and external part, are concrescendo with the internal wall of the recipe cup while they remain free along the floral axis that a tubular space persists also inside the fruits. In each of which it contains several ova. The fruit turns out to be a pommel with a fleshy and extremely compact mesocarp. The endocarp, on the other hand, is cartilaginous with numerous seeds immersed in a mucilage that fills the lodges.
If you want healthy growth of the cydonia it is very important to place this tree in a place where it can receive a good number of hours of direct sun.
Throughout the winter, younger plants need effective protection from the wind and cold. There cydonia it is a plant that tends to prefer a temperate climate and therefore quite warm. However, this tree does not disdain rigid temperatures, managing to tolerate cold temperatures that can reach up to ten degrees below the mercury column.
The best period for planting this plant is certainly autumn. After choosing the land intended for this purpose, you will need to dig a hole about twenty centimeters deep. In the hole you will need to insert a pole that will support the trunk of the tree, since the young stem of the cydonia is quite delicate, it will be an important concern for correct bearing. Its height must be about one meter and it must be inserted into the ground for about twenty centimeters. This stake will have to support the cydonia for two years after planting. It must be secured to the plant by means of laces placed from the base up to three quarters of the stem.
Pruning must be pursued in such a way as to make this tree always as productive as possible. To do this, it will be necessary to remove all the branches that have produced fruit in the current season. On the other hand, the branches of the previous year must be spared. Remember not to sprout those branches placed horizontally. Finally, if you decide to increase the vigor of the tree exponentially, ramming will have to be carried out. The ramming are, for the uninitiated they are a certain form of pruning. Ramming means pruning only the apical sections of the plant under consideration.
The watering of the cydonia is highly variable and it is necessary to modulate it according to the age of the tree. In fact, if the cydonia to be watered is of young age and therefore recently planted, it will be necessary to water them more frequently as the root system is not yet sufficiently developed and the plant, consequently, cannot be satisfied only with sun rains. Despite all this, the cydonia does not need a particularly constant watering but about eight liters of water will be enough to be administered once a month.
To ensure the cydonia a life in full shape, in autumn, it is advisable to enrich the soil in which it lives with fertilizer. Fertilization must be understood as the contribution of very important substances such as phosphorus and potassium. Every three years it is good to put organic fertilizer around the trunk of the tree.
The period in which the cydonia runs the greatest risks is the spring when the tree can become infected with fungi. In order not to make the tree sick, it is necessary to use systemic fungicides. Finally, use a broad-spectrum insecticide in winter to avoid any risk due to attacks by aphids and scale insects that cause numerous damage to plants that have been infected by them.
Gravel is the most used roofing material in the garden due to the simplicity of installation and the cost definitely within everyone's reach. Being a residue from the demolition of larger rocks, there are different sizes, ranging from half a centimeter (fine gravel) up to 6 centimeters (coarse gravel).
Colors, shapes, roughness, smoothing, imperfections, give it an unparalleled mutability that allows it to blend wonderfully with ancient or hypermodern materials. The defects are few, but sometimes limiting: the annoying noise produced by foot traffic and the poor resistance to violent washouts and the passage of vehicles. In the ornamental garden it can have some extraordinary effects.
One thing is certain: after seeing these photos, you will no longer think of gravel in the usual way!
In the rock garden, as mulch and drainage
Gravel is generally used as drainage for pots or to amend too compact soils. Gardeners distinguish the siliceous one, typical of rivers and slightly acidic, from the more saline one, typical of the shores of the sea, definitely not recommended.
As for horticultural techniques, it is mainly used as drainage on the bottom of pots or flowerbeds and as mulch for plants that wish to have a dry collar: a condition that occurs both in the mountain rock garden and in the Mediterranean type, which uses cacti and other succulent.
Depending on the color and size, the gravel offers an unlimited amount of tactile sensations and textures. The important thing is to choose material that has not been taken from the banks of waterways or the sea. The collection of sand and gravel is in fact strictly prohibited and constitutes incalculable ecological damage.
There Cydonia it is a shrubby plant with an open habit, it also grows up to over 2 meters. Presents some light green deciduous leaves.
Perfect for use in the garden as a single, in groups or for the formation of mixed flower hedges.
Plant from full sunny exposure, easy to grow in the garden, very rustic and versatile that withstands both summer heat and winter cold.
Requires regular watering according to the seasons, more abundant in summer and contained in winter. Withstands short periods of water stress.
It is to be fertilized twice a month in spring and summer with ternary granular liquid or mineral fertilizers with NPK diluted in water.
Then remember to postpone the interventions in winter.
The first evidence of the existence of ornamental gardens are the Egyptian wall paintings of 1500 BC: they represent lakes covered with water lilies and lotus and surrounded by rows of acacia and palm trees. There is also evidence of a gardening tradition among the Persians: there are citations of a "garden of paradise" that belonged to Darius the Great and the hanging gardens of Babylon were considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
Persian influences spread to Ancient Greece: around 350 BC. there were gardens at the Academy of Athens and Theophrastus, who wrote about botany, is supposed to have inherited Aristotle's garden. Epicurus also had a garden in which he loved to walk and teach, which he then left to Ermarco di Mytilene. Alcifrone mentions private gardens.
The most famous gardens of the ancient Western world were the gardens of Ptolemy I in Alexandria in Egypt and the gardening tradition imported to Rome by Lucullus had a great influence. The mural paintings of Pompeii, together with the archaeological remains, bear witness to the elaborate developments which also led to the construction of huge gardens thanks to the great wealth of the Romans. The remains of some of these large gardens are still visible today, such as at Villa Adriana in Tivoli.
Byzantium and Islamic Spain kept the traditions alive after the 6th century. Meanwhile a gardening tradition had developed independently in China, and then later from here to Japan, where it resulted in the creation of aristocratic gardens that reproduced miniature landscapes centered around ponds or the severe Zen gardens at temples.
In Europe, the art of gardening was reborn during the 13th century in Languedoc and Île-de-France, and then in the gardens of Italian villas in the early Renaissance.
In the Middle Ages the garden lived inside the monastic properties and in the immediate vicinity of castles and courtyards. These plots are planted with vegetables and medicinal herbs, including some fruit trees, all outside the city walls (with a few rare exceptions), due to lack of space. In this line of gardens used for the cultivation of medicinal herbs, the Giardino della Minerva in Salerno dates back to 1300, considered one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe and used for the teachings of the Salerno medical school. Only from the thirteenth century do gardens and orchards begin to spread inside the courtyards of patrician houses: the explanation is to be found in the desire of the nobles to recreate a part of the countryside (where it was customary to spend 4 months a year) in the city. L'hortus conclusus (i.e. closed vegetable garden, surrounded by walls) offers the reproduction of an idyllic image: a flat land of regular shape surrounded by high walls, which encloses green meadows, flowers, herbs and orchards, ideal setting for a water fountain very pure, to always be placed in the center.
THE parterre French, whose tradition dates back to the end of the sixteenth century, had their greatest splendor in the interpretations of André Le Nôtre, designer of the main noble gardens in France. In the 18th century, the English garden opened up new perspectives. The nineteenth century saw the flourishing of the revival of historic gardens and the birth of the romantic gardens, of which one of the best known expressions is that of cottage garden British.
In the twentieth century the art of gardening evolved by integrating with the new urban planning discipline.
Among the diseases, the quince fears chlorosis which manifests itself with more or less marked discoloration of the leaves generally caused by excessively alkaline soils. Among the animal parasites it suffers from the attack of aphids.
Fighting chlorosis with the use of the sequestering agent and aphids with a pyrethrum-based insecticide.
The systems to understand in which climatic zone a garden is located are various: in Italy the classification in USDA zones is mainly used, that is, in hardiness zones (resistance to winter lows) and the Köppen system, whose map regarding the Italy has been little or nothing changed, but by now it needs a major overhaul.
The gardener, like it or not, becomes a bit of a climatologist out of necessity and over time manages to get used to some notions that allow him to understand which plant has a good chance of succeeding in its climatic zone, and to make some projections thanks to experience, encouraging or dissuading distant friends.
The Köppen system divides regions of the globe into climatic zones and further subdivides them according to rainfall and average, maximum and minimum temperatures.
In Italy, in a rather elementary way, 5 climatic bands emerge, named according to the most widespread association of trees: Picetum (conifers), Fagetum (beech trees), Castanetum (chestnut trees and live undergrowth), Cold Lauretum (olive groves), Warm Lauretum (citrus), each with peculiarities not only climatic, but also concerning the vegetation.
Most of Italy is "green" that is, it falls within the phytoclimatic area called Fagetum: a very large area that can start from 800 meters in the Apennines and reach 1500 meters in the Alps. The beech wood is precisely characteristic of this area (unfortunately the artificial beech woods planted by the Forestry in recent decades confuse a little), there is also a rich variety of undergrowth, from holly to raspberry. Other trees present are the hornbeam and the silver fir.
As for the USDA, most of the South enjoys higher lows, so it is located between USDA 9 and 10, while the North can count on favorable microclimates in the Lakes area or in the Ligurian coast.
Pay attention to the maps that you often find in non-accredited or poorly informed sites, they are generally very optimistic (for example, some expert gardeners argue that zone 10b does not exist at all in Italy), therefore be wary of the type of map that shows you all red and orange!
The USDA scale
It is a system developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, in fact USDA means "United States Department of Agriculture".
Given that industrial agriculture is particularly important to the US economy, and that the US territory is very diverse from a climatic point of view, the Department of Agriculture divided the territory into hardiness zones that were to serve as lines guide for the choice of crops (for example, oranges would never have been grown in zone 4).
The USDA system is very useful for lovers of tropical plants, or for fruit growers of tropical plants, as it is based on winter minimum peaks. However, it does not take into account other factors, such as seasonal averages, air humidity, rainfall, winds, etc.
The phytoclimatic zones
This image is based on the very popular map made by Wladimir Köppen in the early 20th century. The map has remained unchanged, as there have been no organic studies on the Italian territory. But all the gardening communities know it's not perfect. Italy has a large amount of microclimates that objectively would have been impossible to report on a generic map. However, the Köppen system is very useful for those who live in areas with rather cold winter lows, and therefore do not even have the temptation to acclimatize exotic species.
This system certainly complements that of the USDA zones. In a simplified way, we can say that Köppen divided the hot and cold climates, with different subgroups. The code that is obtained to define one's own area is not of elementary composition.
I will try to define mine: C. (temperate climates that have summer and winter) s (dry summer) to (very hot summer). The abbreviation "Csa ".
The AHS scale
Here too we have a system that comes from the USA, in fact AHS is the acronym of an American agricultural society: the American Horticoltural Society. It is used to measure the days (in a year) in which the temperature reaches or exceeds 30 ° C. It is a bit the inverse of the USDA, with this in fact we understand "how hot it is" in summer. It is very convenient to avoid plants that suffer too much from the heat and would not adapt to hot, dry climates (and there are many!).
Unfortunately it is not as widespread as the USDA system and finding its AHS zone in the plant indications is more difficult. But let's take an example: if we found USDA 8 and AHS 10 on the tag of a plant, we would know that our plant tolerates sultry heat but not freezing winters. It would therefore be useful to have it on all tags!
Very cold areas
With the due exceptions of the alpine areas and the truly rigid ones, where the flora is particular and unique, the most widespread cold zone in Italy is the 7, with severe minimum temperatures, but sometimes with hot summers, made more sultry, for those who live in the city, from exhaust emissions.
In these climatic zones it will certainly be contraindicated to plant palms or tropical trees, or hope to be able to leave even moderately delicate plants outside. For many bulbs (such as dahlias) winter shelter will be required.
On the other hand, many flora loves the cool, not just the spontaneous one. Apples, usually berry plants, and all that somewhat magical and fairytale landscape that we admire in English films and fairy tales, is animated by plants that live in USDA 7 zone.
Cold winters yes, but cool summers
Much of Italy is characterized by this climate, even if the summers are becoming increasingly hot in the North as well.
It is known that the gardener who lives in the South has only one concern: "How much water will he want? Will it bear the heat of summer? ". While the northern gardener is worried about the winter lows and the commitment of having to hospitalize the delicate ones inside.
Yet there are a large number of plants that not only like a little cool, but do not tolerate heat at all. Many are common, if not very common: peonies, lupins, especially the beautiful ones in a mixture of colors, and even sweet peas much prefer cool climates over that of Sicily, of which they actually originate. Many unusual bulbous plants, digitalis, asters, hydrangeas, many types of roses, rhododendrons, clematis, primroses, pansies and violets odorata, double daffodils, the majestic Delphiniums. Typical plants of the English border would not have chance in hot climates, if not in hyper-tended gardens, with plenty of water.
The phase shift of the blooms
In general, gardening texts, especially encyclopedias, are written in America or England. There Royal Horticoltural Society publishes all over the world, but obviously inserting standards that are good for England and many generations of gardeners have memorized.
Flowering times are always anticipated in Italy, and even more so than you live in the South. There are not rare cases in which blooms given for "summer" have already bloomed, withered and made seeds, all in May!
What remains certain, however, are the relationships between plant and plant, and between varieties and varieties (for example peonies are later than roses, and among peonies there are earlier or later ones). Crocuses, tulips, daffodils, are almost winter blooms, while dahlias remain summer, but in warm climates they will bloom earlier.
However, some blooms that would tend to die out with the cold, have a kind of "second spring" in hot climates. Remarkable are the remontant roses, but also the hypomeas and many perennial or annual herbaceous plants.
Zone 9, the lemon
Zone 9 is considered "halfway" between the warm and cooler ones. Inside it can have numerous variations. It is not exactly the citrus area, which is the "red" Köppen (Warm Lauretum), but if the microclimatic conditions allow it, it is possible to grow lemon and other citrus fruits, even if not extensively, and most likely it will be necessary to keep them in pots.
For example, in Rome the lemon will have no problems, but further north it could suffer. In the Neapolitan territory, however, the extensive cultivation of lemon is known all over the world.
This is to say that many plants given for zone 9, can be cultivated at the limit between zone 9 and 8, with some difficulty but without doubt with great satisfaction.
Here is another plant that indicates a good climatic level, and winter lows that may really drop below zero, but we have little left. However, it is always advisable to cultivate the Fremontodendron californicum against a south-facing wall to retain heat at night.
Generally it has difficulties from Naples upwards, but someone also cultivates it in Rome with excellent results. It goes without saying that in Rome it means taking risks, in Milan it will mean permanent greenhouse cultivation.
In some areas of Italy, such as the Ligurian side and the Lakes area, despite being in the north, they benefit from the thermal influences of the water, with not too heavy winter lows and mild summers. These are particularly rare and happy microclimates, since you can grow plants that do not tolerate heat, but also those that love a certain warmth.
There Spathodea in the photo, for example, it could be a good attempt for those who live in Liguria, even if it may not be easy to see it in bloom. The advice is to try and observe the delicate plants present in the gardens of your areas: they are an excellent indicator of temperature.
There Syagrus is one of the most common palms in Italy, especially the romance.
It begins to suffer at -6 ° C and at -10 ° C it loses its foliage, but it is not so much the absolute minimums that are worrying, as the average temperatures during the year. In fact, rather high averages, around 15 ° C, are needed to allow this plant to grow well.
In any case, it is a palm that can withstand some peaks of cold, but in Italy it is not suitable for areas colder than 9. Even abroad, in very hot areas such as Florida, it can suffer.
A testimony to the fact that based on absolute minimums and not taking into account other values, such as seasonal averages and humidity, is a mistake. In theory, some plants would be cultivable, but then suffer for other reasons, so let's not rely only on data.