The Slope – 2nd July

Since last Tuesday the weather has been a joy.  There were thunderstorms and some rain on Wednesday and Friday but the temperatures have been pleasant – warm but not too hot.  We’ve appreciated lots of delicious meals outside and it has also been nice to sit and read under the Wisteria.

To give a rounded view of The Slope I intend taking photographs at different times of day.  Today they were taken at 9 am.  The sun is already strong, the Quercus ilex throwing dark shadows. There are four large shrubs of this local evergreen oak planted at the top of the slope dividing the slope from the slope path, I chose them to protect the garden from the hot summer wind that comes from the direction of the sea, some 50 km away.

Perovskia with Stipa tenuissima in the foreground

Perovskia with Stipa tenuissima in the foreground

View as you enter the gate

View as you enter the gate

The Cistus I grew from a cutting is still flowering

The Cistus I grew from a cutting is still flowering

Self seeded Fennel is reaching for the sky

Self-seeded Fennel is reaching for the sky


Verbascum is opening its lower flower spikes now

Verbascum is opening its lower flower spikes now

The Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are mostly finished now; the bare patches are where I have cut them back to the ground (most will return with the first rains of September); although I missed the critical moment when the most of the seedpods were mature but hadn’t burst open, meaning that there is a lot of seed ready to germinate! I did manage to find some unopened seed pods to give to friends.

Bare patches where the Eschscholzia californica haas been cut back

Bare patches where the Eschscholzia californica has been cut back

Eschscholzia californica already open seedpods

Eschscholzia californica already open seedpods

The Slope

The Slope

What does your garden look like today?  Is the temperature pleasant or already too hot or too cold if you’re in the southern hemisphere?

31 thoughts on “The Slope – 2nd July

  1. We are hot and humid here. California poppies mostly lay down and started to die. I ‘m hoping some that I cut back will renew. Collected fewer seed pods this year. They are one of my favorite early spring annuals that sometimes persists.

  2. That first picture gives me a new perspective of the slope, I like that point of view, and I love russian sage so much I’m always taking new cuttings around the garden. Look how beautiful it is when backlit!
    So proud of that sturdy verbascum too…

  3. Donna and I are in different states but weather situation is the same. Glad you’re still getting to enjoy the Cistus. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person.

      • During Romans time all the available (or made available) coast was planted with pinus pinea (umbrella type) because Romans liked so much pine nuts and were considered very valuable, it is not native of Italy but ever since it’s part of the landscape, especially in the region of Rome (Lazio) and here in Venice (Veneto). Curiously the common English name for this plant is ‘Italian stone pine’.

        • That’s interesting Alberto. It brings to mind the question “how long does a plant have to have been introduced before it is considered native?” Maybe never in which case England has very few native plants indeed and if only natives were planted in English gardens they would be empty! The English common name is also unsurprisingly given its form ‘umbrella pine’. I’m actually thinking of removing mine; it grows so quickly and soon nothing will grow underneath it.

          • I love those pines because they’re so peculiar of my land, anyway I’m glad I didn’t find any in my garden when I came and I would never plant it for your same reason: they don’t allow anything to grow around them.

  4. Here in New Hampshire we are having rain almost daily in large quantities. The garden is flowering beautifully but all the blooms are sodden and heavy and hanging their heads. The temperature is mild right now … not torrid as it was a week ago. The star of my garden today is the Opuntia with its soft yellow, waterlily like blooms. Enjoy reading yours posts. Have never been to Italy.

  5. We got back from a trip last night to find the garden looking pretty good. The Asiatic lilies have opened, and our Clematis is approaching its peak. Roses are also in full swing. I love your view from the gate.

  6. The last photo sums it up well with the verbascum in the foreground and the russian sage, the grasses… lovely. I think we have had similar weather again and the garden has benefitted from cool nights and warm but not hot days. Perfect in fact!

  7. Christina it is interesting seeing the changes, I only read last weeks post this morning (I’m just catching up with reading blogs), what I noticed first was how much quieter it looked now the vibrant orange of the poppies are gone and in this post showing the bare patches it is so different again, I like this more muted tone with the russian sage and bleached grass, a cool silvered look, with the seeded fennel it has an airy feel with the verbascums giving solid dots, what is the white flowering shrub? is it part of the slope or at the edge/in another bed, it also adds to the cool feel, Frances

    • The white shrub is Solanum jasminoides ‘Alba’; it it right at the bottom of the slope by the gate and was the only flowering plant I found here when we moved in. It flowers for months and months and I have taken cuttings that are now planted at the boundary edge. I’m hoping it will created a white river like the train of a bride down the slope.

  8. We are still waiting for some lasting Summer sunshine here, the forecast for the weekend is very positive though and we are still a couple of weeks behind roses especially are still catching up. I really enjoy the walk through your garden, thank you.

  9. I love the variety of flowers on the slope and I covet quite a few. However, today is cool with rain and I am happy it is not too hot as I continue my assault into the borders. I still have seedlings and cuttings to plant and I swear I am never planting any ever again. At the same time the seed packets gather on my table and the Cerinthe seeds have been gathered and are drying on the sideboard.

  10. It is fun to watch your slope as it progresses through the season. I planted Perovskia on my own slope a few years ago, but it has finally succumbed to the heavy soil and humid air. When will I learn to plant what wants to grow here and not what I wish would grow? Our weather is wet, a bit cooler than normal. I always hold my breath through the summer, hoping we won’t have a brutally hot, dry summer. So far no drought here, and I am very grateful.

    • We have showers too and the temperatures are below average. Choosing the plants that want to grow in your climate and soil is the most important thing to do, but we all want to grow at least one thing that isn’t really right.

  11. We are bathed in sunshine here in Blighty…summer is on the cards for at least the next 10 days, it’s wonderful and the plants are loving it.

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