Yesterday the sky was overcast in the way I remember August days in England; the air felt thundery, rain had been forecast but I wasn’t very hopeful.
At around 5pm I could see black clouds on the horizon and hear the constant drum of thunder, I even saw some small flashes of lightning; I could see the dark shadow of rain actually falling between me and the horizon. Would it rain here? With my whole body I was willing it to rain – I almost imagined myself running outside and being soaked by large drops of water, f it running down my face, drenching my hair.
I can hear my English readers laughing, I know you’ve all had a wet, cold summer and I must sound like some crazed woman who should be taken quietly by the hand and put somewhere safe. But to continue, a breeze picked up, the breeze felt cool – wonderful; IT MUST RAIN! And, well, it did rain, a bit, maybe 15 minutes of good gentle rain that the ground sucked in, and my poor plants almost seemed to drink in, and then the sun came out again and it was warm and humid all over again and I felt let down, as if I’d been teased by this small taste of what could be if it rained for a day, 2 days, a week!
OK, so today is back to being hot! Humid and hot, my skin is prickling, today feels worse than before but the garden has had a little drink and there is the promise that summer is nearly over. The 15th August is a holiday in Italy, the Assumption of the Madonna, a bit like August Bank Holiday in the UK.
There are some flowers in the garden, although apart from some Perovskia on the bank, some Hibiscus and a surprise, all the other flowers are where I irrigate.
The triangular rose bed is looking full of bloom, there is a reason for this; the irrigation pipe has broken several times so the bed has been soaked and the plants respond by blooming.
Half the line of Rosa mutabilis are flowering, the other half are not. All are getting some water but the ones that are flourishing are also getting a small amount of run-off from the vegetable beds; just a little amount of water makes so much difference.
This year has been the hottest since we moved to Italy, nine years ago at the end of this month. For gardening it has been challenging and I sincerely hope that it will be another 9 years before it is quite so hot again. By next month I will know which plants have survived their test and which I will need to replace with something more drought tolerant.
Two of the Hibiscus were grown from cuttings taken by a friend and I would like more; I’ve noticed she has a white one with a purple blotch, now must be a good moment to take some cuttings of that.
I mentioned a surprise earlier; as I was walking around the garden this morning taking photographs my eye was caught by a plant covered in flowers, more flowers than leaves it seemed. I’m certain that 2 days ago it wasn’t flowering; it is almost as if the rain has prompted it into life. The bees love it, I’m happy because I know that it is a little tender and I had thought the freezing temperatures might have killed it this past winter. What is it? A Westringier!
Click on the image below to see all the flowers blooming in my Hesperides garden today.