The Slope on Thursday – ..and it’s getting better….

Well it is for me.  I’m calling this ‘my English summer’ because the weather is just so like it often is in England.  We had more rain this week, actually a thunder storm which just five miles away included hail (gardeners’ enemy number one).  The local news reported a small whirl wind right here where I live but it must have passed me by a whisker.  I am a lucky girl.

This morning there is sun, while I took the photographs and cloud, now that I am writing; see what I mean – English weather, although I have to admit that between the showers the temperatures are rising to the mid to high 20°’s C so warmer than you average English temperatures.

I was with a group of gardeners the other day just after the heavy rain and I told them it was like English weather in summer and they were shocked!  Even though they think it rains all the time in England they really hadn’t thought about so much rain occurring in summer.  Everyone here is telling me what a terrible year it is for growing vegetables, all that most Italians are interested in.  This is NOT true; I’m having the best crops ever – I must write about the vegetable garden soon – but suffice to say that I’ve harvested about 150 cucumbers from eight plant this year so far!!!!!!!!!!

But I digress, back to the slope.

The usual view

The usual view

Notice the field in the background is still green, they cut and baled the hay during the night to beat the rain.

Eschscholzia californica are flowering well again but in a less exuberant way

Eschscholzia californica are flowering well again but in a less exuberant way

Wild Fennel obviously love the rain, they are as tall as trees, I am going to have to be meticulous about not letting the seed fall or the slope will be just 100% fennel next year.

Wild Fennel obviously love the rain, they are as tall as trees, I am going to have to be meticulous about not letting the seed fall or the slope will be just 100% fennel next year.

Verbascum a little like chaxii

Verbascum a little like chaxii



Looking up the drive (from a slightly different spot) The cypress is where I stand to take 'the usual view'

Looking up the drive (from a slightly different spot) The cypress is where I stand to take ‘the usual view’

As soon as the sun hits the  Mirabilis jalapa the flowers close hence its Italian name of Beauty of the Night

As soon as the sun hits the Mirabilis jalapa the flowers close hence its Italian name of Beauty of the Night

I am really enjoying this part of the slope - all blues and silver foliage

I am really enjoying this part of the slope – all blues and silver foliage

I may edit out the Stipa tenuissima from this part of the slope for now to give more emphasis to the silvery blue tones.

Do you have parts of your garden that change dramatically with the seasons, either colour theme or just the feeling it gives you?

41 thoughts on “The Slope on Thursday – ..and it’s getting better….

  1. If you are having an English summer, we are having an Italian one! , So hot and humid everyday with temperatures in the late 20s and even 30 some days! I have to say I don’t like the humidity at all and will be glad when it cools down a bit. We keep getting promised some rain, but it seems to miss us somehow.
    Different parts of the garden here peak at different times, so there is always something interesting to look at, or at least I hope there is!
    Your slope really does get better and better, I love all your Perovskia, mine has just started flowering, it is such a beautiful blue, shimmering in the sunshine.

    • Usually when it is hot here it is dry heat, I can take that much better. This year of course with the rain there is more humidity but not too bad. Your garden always seems to have many areas that look wonderful. You are a fantastic gardener, I don’t know how you manage to keep up with it all!

  2. The picture of the cypress with perovskia and verbascum in front of the blue sky is great, I love the color and form to it, and the verbascum closeups really bring out the softness of the plant. Strange that they’re such a hardy plant.
    The differences in point of view is odd. Someone was complaining to me about our weather the other day and I couldn’t understand them. It was our first cloudy day in a week and I couldn’t get past how all the good weather wasn’t enough to satisfy them.

    • I think people actually forget what the weather was like even just a few days before. I speak to people here and think we must be living on different planets! Ask them about the previous year and really it depends on their mood as to how they remember it. Even though we’ve had a lot of rain there have been more sunny days and times during the day than there have been clouds and rain.

  3. I do love that cloud of fennel, and the verbascum is a real beauty too, that shot with it, the fennel, the cypress and the perovskia is gorgeous. Interesting that you are considering editing out the stipa in that last photo, my first reaction on seeing the image, before reading the text was that the grasses detracted somewhat from the otherwise almost ethereal blue haze. When I finally get around to posting about the other half of my front garden you will see I have come to the same conclusion, though in my case it is a bronze cared that is spoiling the picture. I’ve just realised that one of the plants my gardening-sil gave me is ‘overdam’ so I will get to try it out, though I doubt it will flower this year.

    • Sometimes it is seeing the images that helps me to decide about how well things are working. There is a lot od Stipa on the slope and I like it but this year, The Tulbaghia has really formed good clumps and the blue Panicums have grown better with the rain (who says they are good in a dry situation – I thought they were dead last year) plus the Perovskia has seeded itself around rather satisfyingly so it is an easy decision to edit out the Stipa I can always allow it back in later if it seems necessary. I love that you give an honest appraisal, like a true gardening friend, thank you Janet.

      • Yet another reason why frequent photos are such a good thing, isn’t it, I find the same, sometimes a photograph clarifies something far better than just standing and staring does, though I do a lot of that too. As to the honest appraisal, you’re welcome, I find it invaluable myself too, and really appreciate the fact that I can always rely on you to give a clear opinion.

  4. It’s hard to imagine you in Italy, having so much rain, while here, in England, we are basking in hot sunshine and high temperatures. I’m just revelling in it, and am quite happy trudging around the garden with my watering can. We have to enjoy it while it lasts. (That must be a typically English thing to say!) I do sympathise with you, though. At least it all looks greener and fresher than it, probably, usually does.

    • That said of course it is still probably hotter here than in the UK! Even on days when there has been heavy rain most of the day has been sunny, so no need to feel sorry for me, I’m loving it as they say!

  5. How I wish we could get an English summer here in Southern California! Your slope looks beautiful. I love the Verbascum and the Perovskia. I can’t say that my garden looks better as summer progresses – I’ve got more and more empty spaces but I’m holding off on filling them in until fall brings cooler weather. Our temperatures are ramping up again.

  6. I really love that last picture, but I think you’re right about the stipa. The silvery foliage of the perovskia goes well with the Gaura. And you know how much I admire your verbascums… can’t say it often enough! Enjoy your English summer! 🙂

  7. The fennel looks fantastic at the moment. But you’re right about cutting it back – you’ll be growing enough to supply the whole of Italy if it gets to set seed. Hope your English summer continues!

    • Usually I harvest the flowers to dry as a seasoning for cooking potatoes, grills and mushrooms but I don’t need that much this year, I should maybe do it anyway and give as presents.

  8. Your Verbascum always looks lovely. Is it a cultivated variety? We have similar growing here wild but it looks much tattier and I would not want to bring it into the garden. Amelia

  9. Christina, the slope looks beautiful, the first photo is really lovely with the haze of blue and yellow, I do find the occasional fennel seedling but the birds eat most of the seeds, I like the photo looking up the slope with the verbascum echoing the cypress and the flower colour linking the fennel, agree re the stipa in the last photo, it draws the eye down to focus on it, it’s still beautiful,
    I think you are romanticising a bit with your ‘like an English summer’ and clearly only remembering the better days of summer, glad you have nice gardening weather, long may it last, Frances

    • Yes, I know an English summer wouldn’t be as warm as here, it is more to do with the fact that there is rain here and I associate England with at least some rain in summer. Anyway what ever it is like I am enjoying it and not getting depressed.

  10. I think that we may well have stolen your summer this year Christina but still it’s only the end of July so you may still be in for a long hot spell. I’ve been trying to keep on top of all my courgettes but what are you doing with all those cucumbers?

    • Soup, salad with various herbs depending on what we’re eating a sorbet with gin that I served with the soup (I’m doing that again today) plus I made a couple of batches do pickle.

  11. The slope is looking lovely Christina, I wish I had grown even one cucumber this year, we enjoyed 28 degrees yesterday, not very English but would have been good for cucumbers. We are not geared up for heat over here and I am flagging, but its lovely to eat outside and enjoy a little of your life.

  12. It sounds like you are having a wonderful summer, with temperatures we dream of! Today is very hot (95 f/ 35 C) with a drying wind that blows the life out of most flowers and vegetables. I can not imagine having so many cucumbers. In fact, though I am fond of them, my hubby hates them, so I don’t plant any. Your slope with the yellows and blues is so beautiful, as always. I am so glad the hail and the whirlwind missed you.

    By the way, regarding your comment about the Stromanthe, it is in fact a tropical plant that I bring inside for the winter.

    • I think I will try putting the Stromanthe in a larger pot and try to overwinter it in the greenhouse, I don’t really want it in the house for another winter. A drying wind is better than humidity for me but probably not for the garden.

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