The Slope on Thursday and summer has arrived!

Spring never really warmed up in the way it has done in other years.  The evenings remained cool and mornings fresh.  This week has been the first time when I have gone out into the garden in the morning with just a T-shirt rather than a fleece, and a long sleeved-fleece at that!

The higher temperatures almost caught me unawares as pots around the garden suddenly needed watering and the vegetables beds, too, require watering every day.  I don’t know if this weather will last but after the long winter (with excuses to those of my readers who don’t consider that I have any winter at all) I am enjoying the sunshine and the warmth.

Around the garden the rush towards summer has begun and many roses are already flowering, but more about those another day.

I photographed the slope at mid-day today so the light is very bright, Eschscholzia are blooming all over the slope in places mixed with our European red poppy.

The usual view

The usual view

Cistus x corbariensis

Cistus x corbariensis

The yellow flowers (top left) are from Phlomis fruticosa, I have seedlings all around the garden, I think I will plant more on the slope to add structure until more Cistus are ready plant.

Cistus x corbariensis has grown well from a cutting

Cistus x corbariensis has grown well from a cutting

Cistus are flowering; this small-flowered white one I grew from a cutting so I am particularly proud of it.  This variety usually flowers for a relatively short time, but does maintain a nice tight domed form.  I’m glad the cuttings are now established as I removed the parent plant last autumn because the place where it was growing had become shaded by other plants, and because when I first planted it I thought it would be taller.

Iris 'Jane Philips' with Eschscholzia californica

Iris ‘Jane Philips’ with Eschscholzia californica

As more Irises need dividing I may plant some around the slope, I love the sword-shaped leaves as well as the captivating flowers.

 

Iris 'Jane Philips' with Eschscholzia californica

Iris ‘Jane Philips’ with Eschscholzia californica

Solanum jasminoides ‘Alba’ is beginning to flower and I expect it to continue for most of the summer and until it becomes cold again.

Solanum jasminoides ‘Alba’

Solanum jasminoides ‘Alba’

Just think how many seeds are being produced by all these flowers!

Eschscholzia californica with ground-cover Verbena

Eschscholzia californica with ground-cover Verbena

Eschscholzia californica and European red poppies

Eschscholzia californica and European red poppies

Looking up the slope

Looking up the slope

Philadelphus

Philadelphus

Philadelphus also opened its buds this week adding to the scent now filling the entire garden. I must cut some to bring indoors for a vase, I love its perfume inside the house.

Is there a moment when you think ” oh yes, summer has arrived!”; how is spring where you are this year (autumn for my readers in the southern hemisphere)?

 

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40 thoughts on “The Slope on Thursday and summer has arrived!

  1. Ooh, those poppies do look lovely! Our spring has been long and mild, so I am wondering what kind of summer we will have, but it doesn’t really change to summer until June here… strawberry season!

  2. Your slope Christina, is absolutely fantastic, the poppies are wonderful and i can almost feel the heat! What a wonderful time this is in the garden.

  3. Your slope looks lovely Christina quite zingy and fresh. I wish I could grow Eschscholzia poppies in the way you do and especially like the Euphorbia, Verbena, Eschscholzia combination.

    • Solanum is very drought tolerant, this one is in a protected position otherwise it might die back in winter. Philadelphus can grow much larger than mine; I will prune it a bit when it has finished flowering.

  4. The garden is gorgeous, Christina! It always amuses me that California poppies grow better for you than they do for me. The harbinger of summer for my garden is the arrival of the Agapanthus buds, now currently opening throughout my garden..

    • Agapanthus arrive a bit later here although despite the cold nights this winter they didn’t die back so may be a little earlier than usual. I expect your climate has changed so that the poppies don’t do so well for you. I saw them growing in January in N. California, just a few and it was a very mild January.

    • The poppies will continue for a while now until they make seeds and go brown and dead looking. When the seeds pods have popped (or before if I’m collecting the seed), I will remove the ugly ones, some lie for a couple of years and will be the early flowerers next year.

  5. Speaking of all those seeds…it looks like your garden is more exuberant than ever. Do you let the poppies reseed and increase at will? What glorious abundance.

    • I let them seed where they like and just pull them out if they are too close to something more special; I cleared a big patch around the Cistus when I planted it because I didn’t want it to be smothered, otherwise they have free reign.

    • In some ways this part of the garden has been the easiest to achieve as I’ve used only plants that are really suited to such a difficult site. Everything I planted had already done well elsewhere in the garden or had easily self-seeded. As the slope is beside the entrance drive, it is important that it is interesting all year and changes character and feel as the seasons change, I also feel it is the most successful part of the garden although other areas are now maturing and beginning to look the way I imagined they would.

  6. Glorious. Wish I could grow cistus and eschscholzia like that. Our spring has been coolish and damper than last year – which I’ve welcomed because it saves me having to water new plantings. Made me feel summery just looking at your pics!

  7. I love the Californian poppies en masse – the way they spill down in yellow drifts amongst the grasses and silver foliage forms – it looks fantastic. The Californian poppies are a summer-long plant for me – so they always remind me of warm weather!

  8. They are wonderful, especially against the Stipa and grey foliage. If you had blue Phacelia in there it would be like the Fetzer Vineyard Chelsea garden a couple of years back

  9. It is still late spring here and good garden weather with rain and warmth. Your slope has filled in so well and gives me hope for a new boundary border I am trying to establish. Amelia

  10. Gorgeous. Visiting your blog is like a time travel machine – hopping forward a couple of months. Still cold here in Sussex, with a blasted wind that strips loads of wisteria buds from the stems.

    • I lost wisteria buds to the wind too this year but luckily there were so many it didn’t make any difference to the display. Our weather this year hasn’t been great, spring didn’t really happen just a rush from late winter into summer.

  11. So much vibrant colour – and wonderful to have your cutting develop into such a lovely plant. Glad you are able to start the day in a T shirt. Still tending to the cool over here, and frequently wet, which is rather getting in the way of tackling the weeds…

  12. Well we had 2 weeks of summer right from a cool spring of only a couple of weeks…now we are cool in the 50s today and frost warnings up tonight. Hoping we get back to warm spring. I wait for this view of your slope….poppies all over. I wish I had your red poppies. I did plant some CA poppies in one of my beds and if the frost doesn’t kill the little seedlings they will bloom later in June.

  13. Christina, I am horrendously late commenting on this post but I couldn’t let it go by.. The slope is looking magnificent. If I can achieve something half this good on mine (eventually!) I will be delighted.

    • Thank you Jessica; lateness in commenting is never a problem, we all have our lives and our gardens!!! The slope gives me so much pleasure and satisfaction, as you know I just planted things that had previously done well in the garden and had self seeded, I also allow some wild flowers, like the Verbascum to colonise the slope which helps give it different look each month without my doing very much. As long as you choose plants suited to your dry shady slope, I’m sure that it will look wonderful, large areas can be intimidating but as long as you have lots of everything it will work well.

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