The Slope on Thursday 26th June

Despite a week with rain at some time each day, the slope reflects the fact that it is summer now.

Stipa tenuissima is blond rather than green; Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are busy making seeds rather than flowers, as I pass them I hear the snap of them bursting to release seed for autumn or spring plants; Oleander is flowering as never before.  These shrubs are very drought tolerant; they are planted along the central reservation of many motorways although they have taken several years to really establish in my garden.  They are a plant to have in the background, close up they are not so satisfies but at the top of the slope they are a layer of protection for the rest of the garden from the west wind that blows in the afternoon from the sea.

The usual view - Perovskia now dominates the view

The usual view – Perovskia now dominates the view

Pink and white Oleander at the top of the slope

Pink and white Oleander at the top of the slope

More flowers than I have seen before on the Oleander

More flowers than I have seen before on the Oleander

Verbascum sinuatum

Verbascum sinuatum

Verbascum sinuatum, flower

Verbascum sinuatum, flower

Verbascum sinuatum - a good place for a Argiope bruennichi to makes its web

Verbascum sinuatum – a good place for a Argiope bruennichi to makes its web

A little windswept!

A little windswept!

Blond summer Stipa tenuissima in the view up the slope

Blond summer Stipa tenuissima in the view up the slope

Probably Verbascum thapsus - all the verbascums arrived as seed from the surrounding countryside, so I never know how many there will be

Probably Verbascum thapsus – all the verbascums arrived as seed from the surrounding countryside, so I never know how many there will be

Strangely I also found a dragonfly, I think it is a black-lined skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum.  The only water nearby is an irrigation channel that runs parallel to the lane.

Orthetrum cancellatum

Orthetrum cancellatum

Orthetrum cancellatum

Orthetrum cancellatum

Orthetrum cancellatum

Orthetrum cancellatum

Is your weather as unseasonal as it is here in central Italy?

What insects do you find on your walks around the garden?

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25 thoughts on “The Slope on Thursday 26th June

  1. Amazing close up photos of the dragonfly! Here, most noticibly, we have lots of very welcome bees – mainly bumble. And butterflies. Must be doing something right! Your slope still looks wonderful – and the stipa creates a great effect. Still waiting, hopefully, for my oleander (in a pot) to flower.

  2. Actually with the start of summer we are seeing hot, humid and wet weather…the rain predicted to be daily is typical but not what we have seen in the past several years…the veg garden loves it. Lovely to see that the rain has made your summer garden more colorful for now…and a dragonfly…wow!

  3. Very hot and dry in Sussex, Christina. Heavy rain due at the weekend (fingers crossed). I spend so much time watering there is little time for anything else. Least my farmer’s tan is developing nicely. I’ve tried growing oleander here in a pot but it never looked happy. Far better at home in the Med. Dave

  4. Beautiful shots of the dragonfly, Christina! And the slope does look very summery. According to our weather forecasters, our current temperatures are on par with “normal” temperatures (I’m not sure how those are defined anymore!) but they seem relatively cool to me after the heat we had in May. Predictions are for a hot summer with lots of fire danger.

    • Fire risk is always scary, we have a field next to our property that will soon be bone dry and a risk. We often see fires by the sides of roads where stupid people have thrown cigarette stubs out of car windows.

  5. Weather here is typical for a Scottish summer, a bit of rain, a bit of sun. It has been a good couple of days for gardening: dry and warm but not hot. We have lots of bumble bees, but only the very occasional butterfly. I did see an interesting bee like thing yesterday – will post a photo if it came out OK.

  6. I love the windswept image of the grasses and Perovskia! We occasionally get dragonflies in the garden, although there is no water near us either. At the moment we have lots of little black beetles, and lots of bees and butterflies!

  7. Your slope is still looking strong and I like the oleander. Nice that you caught such great photos of the dragonfly Christina. I saw my first one this week but couldn’t get a picture. It’s definitely summer here, hot and unfortunately still very dry, yet humid.

  8. You have planned your slope well to look good all year round. I love the bleached Stipa.
    I haven’ t seen Verbascum sinuatum before it is lovely. Does it attract Mullein moth?
    Fantastic dragon fly shot.

  9. Lovely oleander, ours is also flowering its head off at the moment. Guess yours is in the border? Do you have to replant Stipa or do the last many years? Temperatures are not as madly hot as usual at this time of year but will rise again next week. To see the insects I’m meeting I kindly invite you over to my latest post 🙂 – have a nice weekend, Christina

  10. I like the mulleins, I’ve never seen the first one. They’re kind of a weed here as I’m sure they might be by you, but the soft grey leaves and the carefree height always force me to leave a few to grow.
    Even with the shift into summer, I’m glad there’s still enough rain by you to keep things green. We’re into a normal summer here in Pennsylvania, maybe still slightly cooler than normal but apparently that’s set to change next week.

  11. Christina, the dragonfly photos are lovely, nice that it stayed still for so many photos,
    although the grass is drying the slope still looks very lush and rain daily, that’s different and saves you some watering, I hope not too many weeds take advantage of it,
    we had some cold east winds this week which despite how wet the ground is has burnt some plants, nothing serious just irritating, still very cool for summer, temperature barely into double figures, Frances

    • The weeds are of course taking advantage of the rain too, but it is nice that everything is more green. I don’t irrigate a lot of the garden which is why it seems so different. Burning winds can do more damage than almost anything else, strangely the plant that most most damaged a couple of summers ago (the burning hot wind is worse than the cold wind here) was a Viburnum tinus and half of it was killed but where the dead part regenerated from lower down is taller and healthier looking than the part that wasn’t effected. Christina

      • Christina, I have noticed that sometimes the plant most hit by winds is the one that comes back strongest, and I have been reminded this year by a willow I thought dead so cut to the ground which is re-shooting beautifully that some of the pruning books tell us that if a shrub is growing lopsided to prune hardest on the weaker side to stimulate dormant buds and only lightly prune the stronger side so that you do not stimulate strong growth,
        thanks for the pollination info, Frances

        • It is always great when we discover for ourselves something that a book tells us that may not seem totally logical at first. I’m pleased for your willow and certainly think you are correct.

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