The Slope on Tuesday 30th July

The weather is now very hot; high 30’s C during the day; last weekend it was close to 40°C in the shade! Despite all the rain and the water that must be stored deep in the ground the garden is shrivelling before my eyes.


Weigela is looking very stressed

Weigela is looking very stressed


The Perovskia is taller now, from the drive you can only just see over the top.

The Perovskia is taller now, from the drive you can only just see over the top.

Californian Poppy

Eschscholzia californica (Californian Poppy)

Californian poppies are flowering from new seedlings, the older plants are dry and need cutting to the ground; they will flower again in autumn.

One crop grows on the slope!  The fennel I showed with the Perovskia a couple of weeks ago is there for a purpose.  I collect and dry the flowers to add to roast potatoes, sausage risotto or dishes with Porcini (wild mushrooms).  I dry the cut flower heads on trays in an airy spot and then rub the dry flowers through a sieve and then into a jar.  You can buy them ready done in the local vegetable shops; but as they are very labour intensive to prepare they are very expensive (about €100 per kg). As there is a good crop this year I may prepare some in some pretty jars to give as little Christmas presents, it is always a much appreciated gift.

Fennel flowers ready to pick

Fennel flowers ready to pick

What is the weather doing in your part of the world?  Are you having rain or thunder storms, hail or wind or is it pleasantly warm or even too hot to bear.

27 thoughts on “The Slope on Tuesday 30th July

  1. Our weather at the moment is warm with rain on and off for a few days now, thank goodness the terrible heat has gone and my garden and I are feeling so much better.
    Your grasses and perovskia seem to be coping well with your heat, far better than I would!

    • Strangely your comment was put in the spam box (very odd as you comment all the time). I am wilting a little; in summer I drink more coffee to push my blood pressure up a little, otherwise I fade in the heat.

  2. Wow, are you ever in a heat wave! Your garden still looks fabulous! 🙂 Interesting info about using fennel…this is my first year growing it, so I’m happy to read anything I can about it. The weather here is cool, grey and drizzly so far this week…it was only 4 degrees Celsius this morning when I woke up. We’re all wearing sweaters like it’s autumn already. Brrrrr…..

  3. That’s a great tip about the fennel flowers. I nibble them when I walk past, and usually save seed to put on flatbreads, but using the whole flower is a much nicer idea!

  4. The eschscholtzia are looking good – I didn’t realise you could cut them back to get a second flush of flowers… wonder if that would work in Yorkshire too? I tried fennel flowers for the first time this year, aren’t they fantastic? I’ll definitely be following your advice to dry some too.

    • Eschscholtzia usually begin flowering here in March so their season is long, I think it is always worth trying to cut plants back, many will give a second flush of flowers but also good new foliage growth.

  5. I can feel for you when the summer burns your garden. We have intense summers! I have young fennel so I am interested in cooking mine! The flowers and seeds I use alot. They also attract ladybird bugs!

  6. I love the idea of your fennel gifts! I can almost feel the heat of the slope through your photos. Its dull and raining here in the UK so it’s lovely to look at the slope and daydream! I’m really interested in the Perovskia. Sounds like it has some interesting silver stems in the winter too? I’m not familiar with this but am tempted to try and get some.

    • The stems are silvery in winter, I cut back to about 20 cm in spring (often around Easter or jsut when I’m fed up looking at the ghostly stems – they don’t seem ghostly to begin with!). In the Uk they tend to grow very tall and flop a bit, here that doesn’t usually happen. They need very free draining soil and will probably fail on wet clay.

  7. sorry you have too hot weather Christina and some of your garden is baking, I hope you have relief soon,

    interesting you use the fennel flowers I use the seed and young shoots never thought of the flowers before so I will collect some this year, thanks, Frances

  8. Your slope is looking good even in the intense heat. The Russian Sage and California poppies don’t seem bothered. I also grow fennel, the bronze variety, but I just leave it for the caterpillars – we don’t cook with it.That risotto sounds fantastic!

  9. Hey Christina,
    You’re slope reminds me of my beloved Outback. California Poppies are so easy to grow and look wonderful in drifts. There have been so many cool hybrids over here in the last 5-10 years. Do you have access to them? Would you like me to send some early next year? Email me if you’re interested.

    • That’s a very kind offer Patrick, thank you. I do have the Thai Silk series, if you look back at earlier posts you’ll see I have lots of colours. I have friends from the US who often bring me seeds so if you have a website where I could look at what is available they could bring them for me. Thanks again, Christina

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