The slope on Thursday 10th April- some new entries

It has been a week of extremes. The promised rain came in the early hours of Friday morning accompanied by ferocious winds (not forecast) causing some damage (you can read about it here). But Friday afternoon was the real surprise, with hail stones falling like snow but luckily not on My Hesperides Garden, but it was very close.

Then Sunday was gloriously hot, and Monday even hotter, a hat was necessary and even with the hat the back of my neck was slightly burnt as I bent forward planting out some of the larger varieties of tomatoes.
This morning there is bright sunshine making photography difficult; the light was perfect yesterday evening but I like to show you the slope at all times of day and this week it needed to be morning. You will see how the light changes from one image to the next as I am shooting into shadow or bright light.

The usual view

The usual view

The california poppies are closed until the sun touches their petals

The california poppies are closed until the sun touches their petals

Verbena also makes pools of colour

Verbena also makes pools of colour

The species wild iris is fully open now adding vertical accents to the mounds of poppies

The species wild iris is fully open now adding vertical accents to the mounds of poppies

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Rosa banksiae lutescens

Rosa banksiae lutescens

Rosa banksiae lutescens is growing (surviving) planted directly into the tuffo, I give it no additional water. It is struggling but keeps producing some flowers every year, I should try to find somewhere else for it, so it can thrive.

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Stipa tenuissima adds its own vertical lines of bright green

Stipa tenuissima adds its own vertical lines of bright green

Bearded Iris pushing through the flowering thyme

Bearded Iris pushing through the flowering thyme

Strong leaves of Verbascum hint at what is to come later in summer

Strong leaves of Verbascum hint at what is to come later in summer

Thyme flowering now flows around as if a pool of water making islands of the plants

Thyme flowering now flows around as if a pool of water making islands of the plants

What is coving the ground in your garden, helping to stop weeds growing? Has spring arrived to stay with you or are you still expecting some surprises?

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24 thoughts on “The slope on Thursday 10th April- some new entries

  1. Beautiful colour scheme with blue and orange. Do the verbena come back every year? I’m sure your plants appreciate the rain. I have a Banks rose growing on the housewall – it’s so vigorous that I have to cut it back 4 times a year! No pampering needed. Yes, spring is here, and I always plant closely so that weeds stand less of a chance.

    • The Verbena is with me all year, it hardly stops flowering at all, it has been known to be flowering on Christmas Day! But spring is the moment when it is covered with blooms and looks at its best.

  2. Your slope looks magnificent – I love the irises. I really need more ground cover in my garden. I have far too much bare soil. I do have some thyme in the rockery, but it has been slow to spread. I have had some success with a persicaria which has finally got established after many years and which I have now tried to get rooted in various other parts of the garden.
    One of the most successful and no maintenance ground cover plants I do have is a low growing hebe called ‘Summer Frost’. I also have some vinca, but not sure it really suppresses many weeds.

    • All the books talk of Vinca being a ground cover but like you I don’t think it suppresses any weeds at all despite being a charming addition in a woodland setting.

  3. I love it! Gorgeous, colour scheme and so vibrant. I love, too, the Stipa. The addition of grasses to a border really softens it, and adds another dimension to the planting. Weeds? Well, my love of plants means everything is crammed in, but the weeds still find their way – hopefully, not to the same extent!

  4. Looking great. Even closed the California poppies add such nice strong color, working well against the blues. I like your Rosa banksias lutescens very much. There are a few Lady Banksias in some of the old, historic gardens in my town. Does yours have a nice fragrance?

  5. Beautiful colours. Timely thought about ground cover (for someone who has been inadvertently mulching with weeds). Your Thyme looks great. I’ve bought little different bits to try but they haven’t grown much yet. Any advice?

  6. Beautiful pictures, Christina! You’ve made me think hard about our ‘wild’ irises here. They look so much like garden-escaped Iris germanica, but maybe not because they also look the same as yours – do you know what species it is? As to ground cover – there’s not much of anything covering the ground in my garden at the moment – something I can only dream about! But I’m finding that some seed-sown thymes and also self-sown Salvia sclarea var turkestanica are starting to cover the ground on my hot slope. In (so-called!) shadier areas I’ve planted lamium, epimedium & ajuga (I have clay soil) to begin to cover the soil. Also vinca: I’ve found it quite good in the past, in the company of hellebores/Euphorbia robbiae/ Mileum effusum ‘Aureum’ to provide a combined foliage cover so that weeds get less of a purchase on shady ground. Thanks again for the inspiring pics!

    • There are lots of salvia turkestanica on the slope here, they’ll be making their presence felt in a few weeks. I just slow them to self seed and pull out the ones that grow in the wrong places.

  7. What verbena is it Christina? I have been thinking about Rosa banksiae this week as one of the stalls was selling little plants last Sunday – I hadn’t realised how tiny the flowers were and I was quite smitten when I saw it, but I really have nowhere to put it, colour or size wise 😉

    • There’s a lovely white version too, I’ve just bought one, it has buds so I’ll show you when it flowers. They grow enormous though so you need a big space and they only flower once, although I’ve been told there is one that flowers more than once but it isn’t considered to be as delicate.

  8. There seems to have been an explosion of growth in the last couple of weeks, it does look good. I saw Rosa banksias lutescens growing at a show, a perfectly formed little tree about a metre high, fell in love and bought one. And then it took off..
    Really taking off here at the moment are Geums. They seem to really like my heavy soil and are forming huge mounds, covered in flower buds. Even the rampant campanulas call a halt when they meet one of those. I thought the wet winter might set them back but it seems quite the reverse.

    • It is always nice when plants are really happy where we have placed them; then they reward us by growing strongly and making their pressence felt. I would rather grow something ‘not special’ that thrives rather than a ‘real beauty’ that struggles and needs lots of attention but then still doesn’t really give its best. It all comes down to right plant, right place!

  9. I wish I could grow Thyme in the way you do, I love the way it is flowing down through your other plants, I always think of ground cover as functional and your Thyme looks like a star in its own right.

  10. I love the contrasting forms, all those textures, and then the explosions of colour too. The irises work so beautifully with the poppies. I’ve been mired in work and chores, so have not been reading blogs, but I do occasionally enjoy catching up with your photos on Flickr, enjoying the wisteria very much.

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