End of Month View

Time again to join Helen the Patient Gardener for her end of month view.

May and June are usually the best months for me; the weather is warm enough to enjoy meals outside, the garden is full of flower and everything is lush and full.  May was almost like this, but there were cool evenings which meant no meals outside.  The beginning of June was very windy so again not many meals outside and the plants in the garden took quite a battering.  In the middle of the month the temperatures soared AND there were hot winds!

I usually delay turning on the automatic irrigation (except to the vegetable garden) for as long as possible; 1, because I want the plants to become tough and search out water deep down and 2, as all the water comes from a well 100 m deep there is considerable cost in terms of electricity to pump the water to the surface.

As it was cool in May, especially at night, there was always dew on the ground each morning so I felt it correct to wait before beginning the irrigation this year.  With hindsight this was a mistake; the desiccating effects of the wind were pulling water up out of the ground via the leaves.  When I went to Prague I didn’t want to begin irrigating without being there to make sure there were no damaged pipes (there was one so I was right about that).  The wind became even stronger and the temperature rose to 37° – 39° Celsius over those four days and when I returned the garden was scorched, I used the term “flame gun” and this wasn’t really an exaggeration.  The irrigation is on now, I have been hand-watering to try to help some of the plants that were really suffering, but with temperatures now pretty much set for the next six to eight weeks the summer hibernation of the garden has started early!  Some plants do continue to bloom with minimum irrigation and I’ll be showing those over the next weeks.

Some plants will reward me with abundant blooms with very little water.  Rosa mutablibis is one that only needs minimum water to flower almost continuously.  Gaura lindheimeri is another that with just a little irrigation or run off from nearby roses flower profusely.  The groundcover Verbena near the terrace is flowering much more than usual because I’ve been watering pots on the terrace and water has run off from there to reach them.

Ground cover verbena benefits from a little irrigation to ensure it flowers all summer

Figs grow all around the Mediterranean and I’ve seen them growing out of cliffs with no soil, but mine needs water every year!  In past years this hasn’t occurred until August, but just look at my poor tree, and this was even before the last week of June; the first crop of figs hasn’t been harvested yet although any day now some should be ready.

Poor tree, it must have lost half its leaves

Crumpled, yellow and brown, the fallen leaves under the fig tree

Rosa Rimosa again has had only run off water from watering pots on the terrace is giving a great second display.

See more about this good tempered rose here.

However the grasses are beginning to light up the garden, especially in the evening when the last rays of the sun shine through their flowers.

Pennisetum villosum lighting up the garden

Another Pennisetum, possibly Karly

June is the month for Lavender and the sound of bees buzzing all day collecting nectar and of butterflies fluttering and dancing in the air above.

With the extra pruning this year I can just squeeze through the lavender surrounding the formal beds

A honey bee doing what they do best!

Silver-Studded Blue Plebejus argus

13 thoughts on “End of Month View

  1. I adore your lavender…I have it all over my front beds….just a fav I would have more of if I had the right conditions…seems everyone’s weather has had extremes and caused problems…I love how the grasses are glowing!

  2. I think for some reason this year, we are all having to contend with extreme weather conditions, you with your very high temperatures and us with all our rain and people across the country being flooded out of their homes. I am always amazed at how adaptable plants are at coping with adverse conditions, mine are all growing so tall, yours will stop flowering until we can send some rain to you! You still have an amazing selection of flowers, in spite of your heat and of course your grasses must love it!

  3. I wonder if the figs you see growing out of cliff faces have a stream near them which you cant see – that would explain why yours needs watering.

    The grasses are really coming into their own aren’t they.

    I dont need to worry about irrigation at the moment as it has been so wet – I do actually prefer the wet to the heat so I am probably one of the few happy gardeners

    Thanks for joining in this month again

  4. wind does so much damage to plants, I understand just how you must feel about your poor fig tree I hope it picks up and will be back to it’s usual self by next year,
    your lavender and grasses look lovely and I expect the lavender smells wonderful, the wildlife certainly appreciate your planting lavender, the rose is nice too does it have a good perfume, Frances

  5. As always, I admire your lavender and imagine the smell so many blooms must produce! I have one little fig tree, and it is struggling in our own heat wave. Its leaves also are turning yellow. It is in a large pot on our patio, and I am thinking of pulling it into a shadier spot.

  6. Interesting to read about your garden during this stage. Your lavender looks great. It’s fragrance must be wonderful. Do you grow a particular type of lavender?

    It has become abruptly and severely dry here in the last several weeks and I am sorry to see many plants drying up that I had hoped would carry the garden through the summer.

  7. Hi Christina, your garden is looking pretty good in spite of the hot wind! I love that verbena I think it’s v. Pulchella or pulcherrima or something like that. I love your pennisetum villosum too, I can’t find it anywhere here, I didnt know it blooms so early in the season! It really catches light, doesn’t it?
    Your fig tree worries me, I remember it from last summer. Are you sure it does not have root problems? Like big rock underneath? It’s strange for a fig tree to suffer drought like that…

    • The fig has lost its leaves every year. Rather than being planted on a huge rock I think there is a void, in the form of an Etruscan tomb! The pennisetum villosum is from l’erbario della Gorra http://www.gorraonline.it they attend most plants sales and also do mail-order. Christina

  8. This weird weather – whatever form it takes – is very difficult to cope with, but I have to say that your grasses and lavender are absolutely glorious. Just perfect… sigh…

  9. Your pennisetum flowers look wonderful in the light, and I love your overflowing lavender. Such a difference between your hot parched climate, and our soaking summer, which consists primarily of grey skies, low temperatures and glum drizzle. As do spring, autumn and winter. 😉

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