End of Month Review 30th April 2011

The bank is filling out.  There is an issue with weeds unfortunately; and because it is so steep when I tense myself not to fall while I’ll pulling out weeds I damage my back.  There have been some moments in the last week when I was bent almost double like a very, very old woman!

The Stipa tenuissima has really filled out since last autumn

Some Gaura are looking a little wilted; it has been a very hot month with very little rain.  As I write it is raining very gently just perfect for soaking slowly into the soil.  When it rains hard the water just runs off the slope and very little is absorbed.

A bit further up the drive

Finally the Panicums showed signs of new growth so I have been able to lift, divide and replant them.  Some have found homes in other beds too, where I needed grasses that didn’t require water.  I have spaced them differently too so that I will add some other perennials between them to add to the prairie effect.  There are lots more Gaura self-seeded in the rose bed and also into the gravel paths so I will move some of these.

Newly re-planted Panicums

I would also like to add tulips here in the autumn although the thought of planting them is rather daunting.

I hope you can see my method of planting; creating a depression around the plant to hold water while it establishes – this is the method I use for all my plants; trees and shrubs have a large depression(we call it a vase here) around them that might remain for up to one year.  It allows me to give a lot of water at one time, then nothing for a while to encourage the roots to search deeper for water.

To one side where there is a Solarnum jasminoides I have planted some rooted cuttings I took last autumn.

First flowers on the Solanum jasminoides

I underrate this plant (it was the only flowering plant in the garden when we bought the property), it has just begun to flower this year and last year it was continuously in flower until December.  I am hoping for a frothy white mass tumbling down the bank.

This week the alliums my friend planted for me last autumn have opened their buds and are making a striking contrast with Californian poppies that I scattered the seeds of when planting everything else.

A big thank you to Helen, the Patient Gardener, for hosting the end of month review.  Visit her to see what’s happening in other gardens.  Reviewing the garden, or at least part of it every month really helps to focus the mind about what is working and what needs to be done.
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Content created by Christina for
My Hesperides Garden.

21 thoughts on “End of Month Review 30th April 2011

  1. Hello Christina, your poor back! The stipa are looking wonderfully green, and I love that combination of poppy and allium. I suspect I will need to adopt your “vase” approach to any planting I do in the next couple of weeks, still no sign of rain and the watering is going to cost me a fortune. Look forward to seeing your gaura flowering, it should be wonderful, and the frothy white tumbling mass? Sounds perfect for a parched day, and should really shine out in the evening too.

  2. Your slope is looking wonderful. I’ve recently adopted the depression method too, as it’s so frustrating when water runs right by those plants!

    Your garden has such a Mediterranean loveliness to it. I love the combination of poppies and allium.

  3. Hello Christina

    I have come to your blog via your visit to mine, courtesy of the EMOV – what a great way to get to know other people and their gardens.

    I love your mediterranean garden and it is useful to discover how others manage with little or no rain.

    I will visit again!


  4. I’m going with the ‘vase’ approach too – it certainly looks as though it works well for you. Love the alliums – they just don’t seem to do well for me. Sniff.

  5. I applaud you on what you have been able to garden on such a slope! I’m not sure I would have the stamina…my garden is a very flat plain, so that slope is quite intimidating. You have mastered it beautifully though!

  6. >so that if I go to a plant sale and see something interesting I feel I HAVE to buy it! You’re right about the hidden costs of growing from seed, apart from time, which an accountant would want you to add in, compost, pots, water

    from ken. I caught the above comment from another garden blog. I agree it is good to have feelings but best not to act on them. But clearly any time spent gardening is a pleasure and not accountable. And seeds are not expensive in the scheme of things. The pleasure from even a 40p seed come to flower is worth so much more.

  7. I, too, use the ‘vase’ watering method for some of my plants. Even though I’m not on a slope, it gets very dry here. Your slope looks absolutely beautiful. And what a striking combination of the allium and poppies!

  8. Hello again Christina, your slope really does look great in your photos and your plantings really are filling out as you say. I’m loving the way it is taking shape 🙂

    However nice a garden/hillside slope is to look at practically speaking it is a challenge to work with too and your back doesn’t really stand a chance. I’d take a guess that is steeper in real life too 🙂

    I agree with you on the vase method for your planting. I would do the same but I don’t usually have to here in Scotland 😉

    • Yes, you’re right about the slope although the gradient changes. From by the gate it is very steep and that’s the part that kills my back! Christina

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