Welcome to Garden bloggers Foliage Day where I ask you to share all or some of the foliage that you are enjoying in your garden this month. Today I’m going to show you what the plants in my garden look like after two months of drought and temperatures that haven’t dropped before the mid 30’s C during the day and not below 25°C at night. Many of the plants I’m going to show you haven’t had any irrigation in that time, others have had to have some water just to keep them alive. But this isn’t a depressing post (well, I hope it isn’t) while taking the photographs I gained some insights into how the garden is and my view of it.
Firstly some long views that really shows that a Mediterranean garden is ALL about foliage in mid-summer. I can enjoy flowers in spring and before the heat arrives and it is worth planting some specific areas of the garden to make the most of the short season of colour. But high summer is about foliage and to a large extent evergreen foliage as those are the plants that generally have the tougher leaves that than can curl in on themselves to expose less of the leaf to the sun. All images were taken at 5 pm on Tuesday 21st July
When I walked out of the door to take the photographs I thought I was going to hate everything I saw but actually I realised that there is a harsh beauty in the forms and textures of the garden.
Even the Cistus (left) is showing more brown than green and that is a true native to this area, but that doesn’t mean that it looks beautiful when it is protecting itself from the drought and burning sun.
These Verbena bonariensis are flowering (with colour) because they are right next to the new Cypresses that are being given large amounts of water once a week while they establish.
The thyme in the foreground isn’t its usual beautiful green, but it will recover.
Melia azedarach, Arbutus, Quercus ilex all cope well with the heat.
The tree at the end of this view is a walnut; last year I was very scathing about the walnuts, saying I would like to remove them, but both are dealing well with the heat so they have earned their right to stay in the garden.
The roses in the circular rose bed are getting regular water.
Stipa gigantia is well past its best but still gives some interesting movement to the scene.
White Agapanthus in a large pot do add some light to the view, last year they didn’t flower at all, I think because they lacked water the previous year so I must ensure that they have enough water this year.
I want this post to be a true representation of how the garden looks today so let’s have a closer look at some of the foliage, not only showing what’s good. I am almost happy that the weather is so hot because I am planning the redesign of the formal beds and I am much more aware that the design needs to be functional during med summer when we sit on the terrace and have meals there too. But more about my thoughts on that later in the week.
Elaeagnus foliage almost looks as if it has been burnt in a fire.
Notice how the leaves turn in on themselves to create a smaller surface area. The Phlomis would look better it I had removed the flowers when they had finished; sliver is better than brown!
In June you couldn’t see the stems of this cistus but with dropping and curling of its foliage all the stems are visible.
Again with the Viburnum burkwoodii the foliage is curled in on itself in an attempt to reduce transpiration.
I’m sure the Cerastium will come back but it looks dreadful at present.
Sorry this has been much longer than my usual posts. I am convinced that with the correct choice of plants the garden can look better but I’m equally sure that it is also a question of my eyes appreciating a different kind of garden, one where, in summer, foliage really is the most important feature and that considering form and texture is what almost all gardening is all about.
I do hope you’ll join in with GBFD and share some of your foliage or even analyse what foliage does in YOUR garden, just link to this post and leave a comment with your link.
To end some foliage that thrives in the heat and sun.