Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – Evergreen August

Welcome to Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day (GBFD) for August 2017.  My apologies for being absent last month.  Part of my reason for not blogging during all of July was that it was so hot I hardly spent any time outside at all unless it was by the sea or at the lake!  It was only enjoyable to have breakfast outside, lunch and dinner were eaten in the relative coolness of inside the house.  Those of you imagining me sitting on the terrace under the covering of the wisteria were I’m afraid dreaming of some other place.  With some days reaching the dizzy heights of 42°C (104°F) it was unbearable for me to be sitting even in the shade.

How have my plants survived this onslaught of heat and drought?  Well, for sure evergreens definitely cope better than deciduous trees.  Many perennials also decided the best option was to retreat underground so that even though most have survived with some judicious irrigation, very little has flowered.

The first two images were taken a week ago

From an upstairs window looking out over the wisteria

From an upstairs window looking out over the wisteria

I don’t know what is growing in the field beyond the garden in this view – it isn’t grass because if it were, it would be golden brown.  The field isn’t irrigated so whatever is growing can be harvested for silage even during a drought.

Looking across the end of the Large Island to the Upper Slope Path beyond

Many of the plants seem to have physically shrunk during the intensely hot summer, making the garden beds look sparse to my eyes and strangely so after the fullness of April and early May.

Whole limbs of some of the roses have died back – none repeat flowered during the summer. All needed watering to stay alive

You can see how few leaves the walnut has, in a cooler, moister climate you wouldn’t see light through the crown, it would be a dense mass of foliage

Compare that to the dome of clipped Lentisco in the foreground.

The white Mulberry is the same you can almost see each individual leaf.

The wild alliums have remained upright even through the high winds that have been a feature this August

LHS Evergreen border; the clipped shapes are beginning to be the strong forms I want them to be

From the terrace looking west

I wish I had planted a lot more Cypress when I first planted the garden, I love their strong vertical accent.

Top of the drive border with the shortened Cypress

I have been struggling to keep the Arbutus in front of the Cyprus alive.  It was not in a good state when I planted it 2 years ago but I thought it would have grown a little and at least put on some more foliage; I’m hoping that by next spring it will be bushing out and filling in its crown.

The evergreens will be pruned at the beginning of September which should give them a couple of months at least when they will put on growth.

It shouldn’t surprise me but it has that deciduous trees and shrubs really don’t thrive.  In a different climate they would grow during summer but when it is as hot as it is here they expend all their energy in just staying alive.  There is good reason why we perceive a Mediterranean garden to comprise  of evergreens – those are the plants and trees that survive best!!!

What foliage is thriving in your garden?  Do share with us by linking to and from this post.

The good news is that the weather is changing.  Today it was even OK to have lunch outside and it felt almost cold during the night; and it may not have reached 30°C today.  Have a lovely week.

 

29 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – Evergreen August

  1. I’m so glad that your temperatures have dropped a bit, life must be so much easier for you now.
    The clipped shapes that you have are really making their presence felt in your garden Christina, and they contrast beautifully with your Cypress trees.

  2. It is a lovely view even after weeks of drought and heat. The shapes of the evergreens and cypresses really make it. I do understand how stressed some of your plants are though and just hope you get lots of rain in September. Do you usually have good rainfall in the autumn?

    • Yes, we usually have afternoon storms when a lot of rain falls, often every day for a couple of weeks but sunny the rest of the day; very good for planting new plants or moving things. I’m praying for a lot of rain this autumn – it’s been virtually a year since we had any serious rain.

    • Hi Sally, thanks for your concern. No, we don’t have air-conditioning but our house is quite old so has walls that are about 70 cm thick so if I am careful to close the windows and shutters during the day to keep the heat out and open at night to let cooler air in, the house isn’t too hot. The plus side is that the walls slowly warm up in summer and create a thermal mass which helps keep the house warm in winter. Thanks for joining in GBFD so we can share your foliage.

  3. Christina, I’m so glad the temperatures are down. The garden will also thank you very much. You’re right: on the borders the plants have shrunk! Deciduous trees are seen to have suffered a lot. The cut out shapes and the cypresses are beautiful. Hopefully from September and all autumn rain (but not causing any damage) and the garden will recover. Have a very good week also. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Thanks Margarita; today it has been bearable to work outside and I have been clearing dead flowering stems and foliage that has died back to protect some plants; there are so many spaces now but hopefully most will fill again when it rains. Sadly more hot weather is forecast for the weekend.

    • It’s always hot and dry in summer Alison but this year has had record highs over a long period and we haven’t had any serious rain since last autumn I try to have drought tolerant plants but that doesn’t always mean they actually look good during a prolonged drought. Thanks for joining in this month, I’m looking forward to seeing some lush green, ahh!

    • The images were pretty wide Susie if you look in close up it is all very stressed. But I am pleased with the changed design, it does what was intended and makes the garden work in mid-summer.

  4. The aerial views of your garden are spectacular, Christina, despite the terrific beating your plants have taken this summer. You seemed to have had longer stretches of horrific heat than we generally experience here – while I haven’t made a conscious study of our conditions, I’d say that intense periods of heat here generally extend no more than 3 or 4 days at a time before we get something of a break, although those cycles can repeat themselves several times over the course of a single summer. Like people living with extreme winters, I hope that some of those plants that disappeared from sight during your nasty summer re-emerge when fall arrives.

  5. What a transformation your garden has gone through. It’s exciting to see the new plantings growing up and doing well in spite of the weather. This fall I bet things will really settle in and next spring, I think your plantings will leap!
    I knew you were hot but didn’t realize just how serious it was. Amazing that you and the garden can cope as well as you do, I would have abandoned things for the beach weeks ago!

  6. I think the clipped shapes look very good. Also I love the ghostly vision of the garden in your first photos. I’m glad for you that its become cooler. Here we have overcast skies and flowering grasses beginning,- lots of butterflies.

    • Sadly the temperatures are set to rise again this weekend. Of course when I said it was cooler I meant high 20’s low 30’s as appose to very high 30’s. It’s all relative but it can’t last much longer.

  7. Thank goodness for the evergreens. Is there any reason why you can’t plant more cypress? I hope the walnut and mulberry do better next year – they are great trees for the birds.

    • The birds had their full of the white mulberries, the walnuts have never been good. If I’d planted more cypress when I started the garden they would be so much bigger than if I added them now, though you’re right I still could/might.

  8. I did not know that evergreens were more drought tolerant generally than deciduous trees. I feel hard done by this summer with the heat and drought until I hear what you have suffered. Although our trees are complaining and leaves are turning brown they are holding on to their apples, pears and quince without watering. I think the extreme heat and sunshine is worse than the lack of water. We have had some stormy, cloudy weather and the plants do not seem to suffer as much when there is cloud cover. Amelia

  9. It is hard to conceive just how awful and restricting it must have been for you, Christina, and I am glad that conditions are now returning to something more acceptable. I especially enjoy seeing the aerial views of your garden which show the overall structure of the garden. Too busy to join in myself but I will in the future

  10. I love the view from the upstairs window too, it really shows off your clever design and planting in this area. Glad to hear things are cooling down fir you.

    • Temperatures have risen again this weekend. More hot air from Africa!! The new planting is a success so it just proves that sometimes we need a motive as it was for me with the Box moth.

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