End of Month View – March 2012 – The Slope

This is a very late post but I wanted to participate if only for my own records, I find this meme, hosted by Helen, the Patient Gardener, one of the most useful meme’s of the month.  It helps me see the progress in the garden and what still needs to be done to truly create my Hesperides garden.

From when I began work on the slope by the drive I have concentrated most of these posts on this area.  It has filled out well and has surpassed by hopes for it to become one of my favourite parts of the garden.  Almost everything is from self-seeded plants moved from other parts of the garden.  It is not irrigated and in fact would be very difficult to do so because water just runs off the, in places, very steep slope.

Here are two images of how the area looked in October 2009.

Looking accross the slope from the drive

Looking up the slope with newly planted Persimmon tree

In November 2010 I planted Stipa tenuissima, Gaura, Iris and Euphorbia all from the garden.

For this post I want to show some images of how full of interesting foliage and colourful flowers the slope has become.

Looking accross the slope from the same position as above

Time for the tree stakes to be removed

Looking up the slope, as above

The bare soil has been colonised by Californian poppy, European poppy (not flowering yet) and a wild plant, a member of the daisy family that I use the new leaves in salads. Here it’s called cresto di gallo or cock’s comb – a deliciously different taste, there is also wild rocket again I allow it to grow so I can pick it for salads.

The lower area edges the drive and at the top becomes part of a border that sweeps round and into a path that forms the large and small islands.  The part abutting this path I call the upper slope and will be showing this separately at some other time; the two areas are separated by windbreak planting of bush Quercia ilex, Arbutus and other shrubs which are included to protect the rest of the garden from the desiccating summer wind that blows in from the coast almost every afternoon.

17 thoughts on “End of Month View – March 2012 – The Slope

  1. What a difference you have made, like a tapestry with lots of colour ,shape and texture. Love your way of retaining the water for your shrubs!!

    • Thank you Pauline. Making what I call a ‘vase’ around trees and shrubs is the only way to get them established; a tree takes a while, hence the ‘vase’ is still there. I lost the fruit from the Persimion last year because I didn’t water into the autumn when it was dry. hopefully the roots are down deeper now.

  2. I have really enjoyed watching your slope progress especially as I have my own smaller slope. I am hoping that this year I might really like mine – so far the signs are good.

    I saw your comment about the Pasque flower – I took it at the Garden House but I do have some in my garden. They like a warm dry location so you might be able to find somewhere, worth a go

    • This was a problem area and now, as I said, it is almost my favourite area. I think because of the large drifts of plants that one doen’t usually achieve if buying in plants. I think the Paque flower needs a more alkaline soil but I may still try, they are lovely.

  3. It’s such a good idea to take photos like this as gardens progress. It’s easy to forget what they looked liked when you start off. Yours show an amazing contrast. I love the stipa and californian poppies especially. My pasque flower by the way is just growing in a pot. My soil conditions aren’t really suitable either but it seems more than happy in it’s container.

  4. I love how this slope has filled out Christina, was there almost bare soil when you inherited it or did you have to do a lot of clearing first, when I saw the tree ties I guessed you got some strong winds, sensible watering collars too, those people in the UK moaning about the hose pipe ban should see your post and learn, what is the silver looking shrub in the early photos? I know it is in the other photos but I can’t see it as clearly, I love it’s ghostly frame, Frances

    • At the top of the slope are a couple of Teucrium, they flower from December or January and are still flowering well now. You can leave them as airy shrubs of they also clip well into domes as I’ve done in other places in the garden. The shrub at the bottom is Acca sellowiana or sometimes known as feijoa. It is quite a slow growing tree with leavs the colour of olive tree leaves and flowers a bit like a caper flower or tiny passion fruit. It sometimes has fruit that are edible but not wonderful, it’s an evergreen.

    • Thanks Donna, I’ve seen a Californian poppy in California, but it was January so there weren’t slopes of them but they are certainly very happy here too, I love they way they fill in all the empty spaces but don’t become an invasive problem. Christina

  5. I began following your blog about the time you began work on your slope! It has been fun watching its progress. Everything looks wonderful. The tapestry of colors and textures looks effortless, though we know it wasn’t!

    • Thanks Debora, the preparation was hard and working on the slope in always back breaking; but the work is getting less and the results are satisfying. Christina

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