The Slope on Thursday – A dull morning

A mix of weather again this week.  Some hot days (26°C), cooler nights and torrential rain for an hour on Tuesday afternoon.  The garden is thriving on these heavy showers of rain, the only plants that don’t appreciate it are some of the low growing silver leaved Artemisia which are showing a lot of dieback; where they are growing over gravel instead of soil they are OK.


The usual view, a little dull this morning

The usual view, a little dull this morning

The slope looks very different to me this month in comparison to last year; the Panicums that struggled in the heat and drought of August and September last year have grown well and are flowering adding an airiness to the plantings of Tulbaghia.

Blues of Perovskia and Tulbaghia with white Gaura

Blues of Perovskia and Tulbaghia with white Gaura

The verbascum are flowering again

The verbascum are flowering again

Verbascum flower in close up, interesting how fluffy the stamens appear

Verbascum flower in close up, interesting how fluffy the stamens appear

The Verbascum will be spreading a lot of extra seed this year.

The Verbascum will be spreading a lot of extra seed this year.

I’ve noticed there are lots more Verbascum flowering again in the countryside around the house too; it is a different world this year!

Sedum flowers are opening and attracting butterflies and bees, I want to plant even more of these

Sedum flowers are opening and attracting butterflies and bees, I want to plant even more of these

This Gaura bust be 1.5, but it isn't flopping because it is growing in such free draining soil

This Gaura must be 1.5, but it isn’t flopping because it is growing in such free draining soil

Green is predominant today in the dull light

Green is predominant today in the dull light

Next Monday is GBFD (Garden blogger’s foliage day) I’m hoping some of you will have some autumn colours to share with us, or of course spring new growth if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere.  To participate please include a link to my post and leave a comment on my post with a link to your own.

I know that the weather has been different in many parts of the world this year, are there obvious effects of this in your garden or in the countryside?

39 thoughts on “The Slope on Thursday – A dull morning

  1. I envy you your rain, sorry that it was an antisocial torrential though. We are due temperatures to 25 C today but down to 19 on Sunday and still no rain! Your slope still looks lovely, despite the dull day.

  2. Your verbascum looks magnificent. Lovely photos too. I really enjoyed seeing all the perovskia and white gaura while we were in France; I didn’t know either of them before reading your blog! The weather here is very moist and foggy – I should go out and get some dewy photos for your GBFD. The light is quite poor though. I’ll see whether I can get anything.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever examined a mullein flower close up. It really is something with all the fuzziness and mothiness. I know these aren’t the sort typically called moth-mulleins, but for once I can see the connection to the name. It’s amazing how nice a display you can achieve with a few well placed “weeds” such as the verbascum and mirabilis, so smart of you to welcome them into your garden.
    The gaura gives a nice effect too, and you use it well. I tried it once but the plant was very short lived. I blame the soil here.
    I’m going to try and get a few foliage shots again. Maybe I can find something new, and yes, fall color is on the way 😦

    • A weed is only a plant in the wrong place. I like the garden (well at least the slope) to link with the surrounding countryside. Gaura is short-lived especially on heavy soils. It lives well here and also self seeds so I can always have new plants when I want.

      • I hope you didn’t get the impression I was calling your plants weeds. I know they’re not uncommon throughout the countryside and some people refer to them as such, but I find mullein to be one of my favorite garden plants and I struggle to grow it well.

  4. Odd isn’t it? We’ve had no rain for weeks now. It’s lovely to have an Indian summer but the leaves are falling from the trees, not because it’s autumn but because they are crispy and dry from a lack of water. Your garden looks beautiful. I do love those tall spires of the verbascum. 🙂

    • I’m surprised, I remember noticing that after a dry summer the leaves stayed on longer so the tree could get enough nourishment. After a wet summer the leaves often dropped earlier. Here even after the wet summer many trees have crispy leaves, the fig, walnuts and plum are all nearly without leaves already, but no autumn colour of course.

  5. We have had lots of rain and mild weather too, even 25 degrees yesterday, so very similar to you. I think my garden is still a couple of weeks ahead, yet so green. I also want more sedums, and am planning to try out artemisia, but will take note that it does best in stony ground… I have several such spots! Love your verbascum. I wonder how many will appear next year!

    • It will be interesting to see how many Verbascum grow, there are already quite a few rosettes of silvery leaves that will definitely flower early next year but maybe there will be some later ones too. You can’t go wrong with Sedum.

  6. Beautiful photos Christina – I particularly love your verbascum – I have a few flowering again too. The leaves are falling thick and fast from a number of my trees and the mornings are very misty – definitely an autumnal feel going on although the daytime temperatures remain high (24 at 5pm today).

  7. I was delighted to see someone else letting the wild verbascum grow in their border. This year must have been a great year for them as I had a dozen or so of these volunteer in the garden, placing themselves artistically where they would show off their stateliness. They were impressive. Marion in New Hampshire, USA

    • Welcome to My Hesperides Garden Marion, and thank you for taking time to comment. I am very happy when attractive native plants seed into the garden from the surrounding countryside, not so much when they are just invasive weeds.

  8. The rain is clearly giving your garden an end-of-summer boost, Christina. While Hurricane Odile wreaked havoc in areas to the east of us, we got not a drop of rain here. My garden is very drought-stressed now despite irrigation 1 or 2 days per week (depending upon the area). On the bright side, our heatwave finally came to an end with both day and nighttime temperatures descending to normal levels for this time of year. I was able to spend time working in the garden this afternoon for the first time in a week.

  9. There was a variable breeze here yesterday, but still warm, suggesting the weather was changing and some thunderstorms are forecast today – but we shall see if they pass us by. They would indeed be very welcome! Good to see your gaura again – I bought an unnamed white one at a car boot sale at the end of august but need to decide where to put it as it is still in its pot! I am hoping my Hamamelis Arnold Promise is still showing its flaming colour by next Monday as it is now dropping its leaves very quickly!

  10. Your garden continues to look spectacular. I especially love the textures and combinations of the greens in that last photo. I picked up some tips here about gaura, which I appreciate. Mine failed miserably this year, so I need to give it a more suitable location.

    • I”m glad I was helpful about the Gaura, it is a plant I wouldn’t want to be without but maybe it is better near the back of the border. If your garden has heavy soil it might be worth chopping it back at the end of June. I’ve did mine at the end of August and they’re just about flowering again in the circular rose bed, the ones on the slope have been left to grow as they please.

  11. I noticed the lovely yellow verbascum growing all over the place when I came to visit you. I love it, . I love your tall white Gaura too.
    We have had such warm dry weather here until yesterday when a thunderstorm brought us lots of lovely rain at last.

  12. Your slope is lovely! I especially like that last photo. I appreciate green in all its manifestations, but I see pink, blue, yellow, silver there. Enough to set off the greens quite nicely!

    • Italian Basil (genovese) struggles this year, but strangely as I would have expected it to like more heat, the smaller leaved Greek basil did well, and Lime and lemon scented plus Thai basils did much better than usual. The tomatoes were OK, not outstanding but enough.

  13. Finally catching up and the verbascum is beautiful. it is one of the flowers I look forward to seeing in your garden. Can you believe with the cool wet summer we had my basil was out of this world in the raised beds. It grew in spots to 2 ft wide and high. I had too much (almost as Italians can never have too much).

  14. Do you think we need to say goodbye to any notion of normal weather? Or do you assume you will be back to long hot dry summers again next year? These different weather patterns have such a profound effect on the way the plants grow. There again, I would have thought that the verbena bonariensis growing in my herb bed was growing in very similar soil conditions to that growing in the front garden. The herb bed v.b. is shorter and sturdier, the front garden v.b. lanky and leaning. Maybe the more exposed conditions? Whatever happens with the weather, your slope still looks beautiful, I wonder how many verbascum will flower for you next year.

    • The problem with predicting the weather is the difference between short term ‘normal variations’ and the long term trend. I’ve read that long term Italy and other Mediterranean climates will become more tropical (ie with summer rain) and the UK will become more Mediterranean. so for next year who knows? I’m still looking for more drought tolerant plants as I don’t expect tropical weather every year yet! There are already lots of rosettes of silvery leaves so I think there will be at least as many as this year.

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