The Slope on Thursday – a definite autumnal feel to the day

The weather changed significantly this week; not that it was cold, at 10.30 pm on Monday evening the temperature was registering 20° C.  These warm nights are one reason (the main reason) why we don’t have very much autumn colour in my area.  It is the shock of the fluctuating temperatures that causes most leaves to change to the red, oranges, purples and yellows that we associate with autumn; here the difference between day and night doesn’t change so much until January or February by which time the leaves have just turned a boring crispy brown and fallen. 

The difference has been that we’ve had a week of overcast skies; this is such an unusual occurrence that for one week I can actually enjoy it!  We’ve had some rain but not as much as you would have thought if you’d seen and heard the thunder and sheet lightning during the Monday night.

Probably only because the light is different but the slope does have the monochromatic feel of winter about it today.

The usual view, looking rather dark in an overcast sky

The usual view, looking rather dark in an overcast sky

The Persimmon does reward me with some lovely orange foliage

The Persimmon does reward me with some lovely orange foliage

and then the Oleander makes it look like summer again

and then the Oleander makes it look like summer again

A few Eschscholzia add some bright splashes of colour

A few Eschscholzia add some bright splashes of colour


Pennisetum villosum on the slope is much smaller and later into flower than the others in the garden

Pennisetum villosum on the slope is much smaller and later into flower than the others in the garden

Delicate flower of wild rocket, rucola.

Delicate flower of wild rocket, rucola.

Why am I not picking Solanum jasminoides Alba for my Monday vases?

Why am I not picking Solanum jasminoides Alba for my Monday vases?

This always makes me smile when I arrive home, Euphorbia myrsinites and prostrate rosemary with the Solanum behind.

This always makes me smile when I arrive home, Euphorbia myrsinites and prostrate rosemary with the Solanum behind.

Has autumn arrived in your garden?  I’m about to put my summer clothes away; most Italians change their wardrobes four times a year; this year I didn’t even get all of my summer things out so it won’t be such a hard job.  In the UK I didn’t really ever completely put away one set of clothes and bring out another.  Do you change what’s in your wardrobe with the seasons?  That’s what it is called in Italian “Cambio della stagione”  Change of the season.

41 thoughts on “The Slope on Thursday – a definite autumnal feel to the day

  1. Your Oleander and Solanum are beautiful, so many lovely flowers! We are having the warm days and colder nights that bring on the autumn tints, so soon we hope to have lots of oranges and reds, maybe in time for Foliage Day!

  2. Beautiful! I don’t know how you keep up with it all. I do change my wardrobe for the seasons… only twice a year though really. I still have to do it for fall, it has been much warmer than usual.

    • Well, I don’t usually manage 4 times a year either, just a few things go away and a few others come out. But now is the time to put away all my linen clothes (which is the only fabric for a hot summer). Out with the cashmere, thin at first, I can wait for the thicker sweaters.

  3. Christina how funny..yes most do change their wardrobe here from winter wear to warm weather wear. Half the leaves are down and the colors have moved to oranges and yellows which I will show soon. I would miss the foliage but to live in Italy I could always visit the foliage once in a while or plant a persimmon which is gorgeous by the way!

  4. I do have some thinner trousers for summer and some warmer ones that I only wear in winter. I also have different coats, but mostly my clothes are the same as it rarely gets very hot here.
    I love your little Pennisetum.

  5. how different the slope looks with an overcast sky Christina, I didn’t know before that the warm colours come in the foliage with the changes in temperatures, so I might never get really good colours as though it is much cooler here than Italy the difference between day and night is not great, I wish we had a high of 20C in summer instead of only the mid-teens, and due to that, no, not a great deal of change in my wardrobe, Frances

    • Our highs in temperature are still nudging 24° C during the days, although it is cooler because of the cloud cover. Even in the south of England I never really changed my complete wardrobe as I do here. It is quite nice because things come out the following year and seem fresh and new!

  6. Beautiful wild rocket flower. Sometimes I enjoy overcast skies too and it can make photographing the garden easier without the glare. It’s slightly warmer than your 20C here this afternoon (71F/22C). Autumn is lingering this year, not much color change yet.

    • The 20* C was at 10 in the evening, it was of course warmer then that earlier on. Most days this week it has been between 24° – 26°; so very pleasant. It is nice that it hasn’t been cold at night, so no nasty shocks when you go out at night or go into the garden in the early morning. there was a greater change in temperature last week when it was sunny.

  7. I would smile too if I came home to your driveway view Christina, its really very beautiful. I heard today there are 10 days of rain forecast here and its mild at night, despite that I am still hoping we do see some Autumn colour. As I work outside I add thermals and waterproofs to my usual jeans and t-shirt in the winter, not glamorous but practical.

    • It is rarely cold enough for thermals, but if we harvest the olives when there’s a north or north easterly wind it has happened, and scarves wrapped around our heads to keep the wind out! Usually in winter I wear a fleece gillet over a polo-shirt and jeans and that’s comfortable.

  8. That certainly is a welcoming sight, and I think the Solanum would love to make an appearance in a vase one day…. 😉 We also have a word in Germany for changing from the summer to winter wardrobe and I have already packed away shorts, sandals and T-shirts… although I had to hunt for a T- shirt last week as we had a very warm day and I was working outside! I even thought about hunting out my winter wellies today as it poured with rain again this afternoon!

    • Your weather sounds very similar to ours although in my part of Italy we aren’t experiencing so much rain. Further north in Genova they have landslides again this year. I usually leave a couple of T-shirts out for extra sunny days even in mid-winter.

  9. As someone else noted, the leaves, many of them anyway, have fallen from draught before they had a chance to flame out. All the summer clothes have migrated to the extra closet and the sweaters have come out of the cedar chest. Much as I love summer in the garden, I do much prefer winter clothes.

    • I love the sound of a cedar chest; we have a lot of problems with the clothes moth and I know the perfume emitted by cedar deters them; much nicer than the chemical (even if it is supposed to be natural) papers I have to use.

  10. Your persimmon trees are ahead of mine, Christina – I haven’t seen any sign of a color change yet. Seeing your Solanum (plus a purple variety across the street from me, which I think has been reclassified as Lycianthes ratonnetii) makes me think I should find a place for it in my garden.

    According to our weather forecasters, fall finally arrived in Southern California this week, which means that temperatures have finally settled in the mid-to-upper 70sF (24+C). Too early to consider sweaters and jackets yet!

    • The purple (Solanum) it marginally tender here but if temperatures don’t go below zero is fabulous. My Solanum gets no additional water so I think it would go well more you. I think both grow more attractively as sprawling shrubs than as climbers.

  11. I tend to wear the same all year round (not a trouser person, so dresses), just with tights and a jumper or cardigan if it is cold, and overalls or an old sweatshirt on top if I am gardening. I really love your clump of prostrate rosemary – she’s gorgeous! It was less than 3 degrees in the greenhouse one night last week, but it’s barely dropped below 10 this week.

  12. Thanks for explaining about the autumn colouring and temperature. We do not get such a vivid change in autumn either. It has been mild here and my persimmon tree still has all green leaves. I have to change my clothes, putting aside skimpy, cotton tops and looking out woollen ones as I feel the cold. I try to box things up and rationalise what I should keep but it is not my favourite job. Amelia

    • For many Italians it seems to be almost a ritual! But then most years you do need entirely different clothes and it makes sense that you put the clothes you don’t need completely away. One of my friends has a room dedicated to her out of season clothes.

  13. I wouldn’t miss the fall colors if it meant growing surprises in the garden all winter (rather than months of ice!). I had to laugh a bit when I saw your oleander. I purchased a clearance pot this summer and just lugged it over to the garage to store inside for the winter. It’s a heat loving exotic around these parts!
    Oh yes we have seasonal clothing!

    • Orleander are the plant of choice for the central reservation on motorways here! They flower for months, are evergreen and don’t mind drastic pruning if needed. Sorry frank, I really feel for you living somewhere that is so cold in winter. Having a garden buried under snow for months must be so depressing, but the normal summer here when everything looks dead is not much better (this year excepted, of course).

      • I may give indoor gardening a go this winter!
        Years back I lived in Texas, and after week after week of relentless drought and heat a little snow and ice would have been welcomed 🙂
        You’ll see oleander planted along the Southern highways here too. It makes me feel even more silly for pampering the little thing.

  14. I love the combination in that last photo! We do change our clothes with the seasons, though we have mild enough weather through fall that sometimes some summer clothes are still being worn into November. But after a long steamy summer it is great to put on sweaters and jackets. Winter hits in December, and that’s when we need heavier coats and warmer clothes. I am enjoying our cooler days with highs in the 70s (about 21C to 25C).

    • I think they are the perfect temperatures; it is what we’re experiencing too at the moment. It is lovely too, because the night time lows aren’t actually all that low.

  15. Love that combination of Euphorbia and rosemary – such wonderful texture.

    Definitely have to change the wardrobe four times a year here – our weather is shockingly different from season to season! But our autumn has been very summer-like (aside from the snowstorm in September) – yesterday it was +25 degrees Celsius, which is incredible for this late in October. The garden doesn’t know what it should be doing – my spring-flowering bulbs are all sprouting.

    • Yes, I can imagine you have to have clothes to deal with all the extremes the weather has to offer. Your temperatures were like ours yesterday but the forecast says it will be much cooler today.

  16. Such a strange mix of seasonal indicators, from summer flowers to that almost monochrome view. As to changing my wardobe, the most I do is shift things around on the rail in the hanging space, to make access to woolly jackets easier! Mostly I live in layers of long and short sleeved T shirts and some kind of fleece or cardy. It works year round, it was a shock this year to have so much hot weather that I almost forgot what my fleeces looked like…

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