The Slope on Tuesday 13th August

The weather continues to be extremely hot.  The garden is just surviving, but not thriving. It is times like this that I think I should only have plants that positively relish hot, drought conditions in the garden.

Looking up from near the gate, looking very dry

Looking up from near the gate, looking very dry

Continue reading

The Slope on Tuesday 30th July

The weather is now very hot; high 30’s C during the day; last weekend it was close to 40°C in the shade! Despite all the rain and the water that must be stored deep in the ground the garden is shrivelling before my eyes.

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Weigela is looking very stressed

Weigela is looking very stressed

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The Perovskia is taller now, from the drive you can only just see over the top.

The Perovskia is taller now, from the drive you can only just see over the top.

Californian Poppy

Eschscholzia californica (Californian Poppy)

Californian poppies are flowering from new seedlings, the older plants are dry and need cutting to the ground; they will flower again in autumn.

One crop grows on the slope!  The fennel I showed with the Perovskia a couple of weeks ago is there for a purpose.  I collect and dry the flowers to add to roast potatoes, sausage risotto or dishes with Porcini (wild mushrooms).  I dry the cut flower heads on trays in an airy spot and then rub the dry flowers through a sieve and then into a jar.  You can buy them ready done in the local vegetable shops; but as they are very labour intensive to prepare they are very expensive (about €100 per kg). As there is a good crop this year I may prepare some in some pretty jars to give as little Christmas presents, it is always a much appreciated gift.

Fennel flowers ready to pick

Fennel flowers ready to pick

What is the weather doing in your part of the world?  Are you having rain or thunder storms, hail or wind or is it pleasantly warm or even too hot to bear.

The Slope on Tuesday 23rd July

The afternoon thunderstorms continued all last week until Sunday.  This week the temperatures are rising each day and we are heading into the weekend with temperatures forecast to be about 35°C.

Again the images were taken this morning with the sun at the top of the slope creating shadows and highlighting grasses. Continue reading

The Slope – 2nd July

Since last Tuesday the weather has been a joy.  There were thunderstorms and some rain on Wednesday and Friday but the temperatures have been pleasant – warm but not too hot.  We’ve appreciated lots of delicious meals outside and it has also been nice to sit and read under the Wisteria.

To give a rounded view of The Slope I intend taking photographs at different times of day.  Today they were taken at 9 am.  The sun is already strong, the Quercus ilex throwing dark shadows. There are four large shrubs of this local evergreen oak planted at the top of the slope dividing the slope from the slope path, I chose them to protect the garden from the hot summer wind that comes from the direction of the sea, some 50 km away. Continue reading

GBBD – May Profusion

I usually try to post every bloom there is in the garden for GBBD (for my own record of what is flowering if nothing else), but I’m beaten today!  There are just too many flowers and to be truthful even though I love every single bloom it is the overall effect of the garden that is giving me the most joy.

I will try to post about more of the flowers individually during the next month. Cistus, Eschscholzia californica (and not just orange), Roses, Iris – all deserve their own post.

Thanks to Carol for hosting.  You might want to peek over the garden wall at some blooms in other gardens so do visit Carol at MayDreamsgarden.

So here (grab a cup of tea maybe) is My Hesperides Garden on GBBD in May.  I hope your gardens are giving you as much pleasure as mine is to me, happy bloom day.

Rosa mutabilis on the wall that divides the vegetable garden from the drive

Rosa mutabilis on the wall that divides the vegetable garden from the drive

Large Island

Large Island

Iris Kent Pride with white blotched with brown Cistus

Iris Kent Pride with white blotched with brown Cistus

Philadelpus scenting the garden

Philadelpus scenting the garden

Iris Before the Storm with Eschscholzia californica

Iris Before the Storm with Eschscholzia californica

The slope

The slope

This cistus is one I took as a cutting

This cistus is one I took as a cutting

The slope

The slope

The slope

The slope

Eschscholzia californica, on the slope

Eschscholzia californica, on the slope

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Buddleia alternifolia, I am tryijng to train as a weeping tree

Buddleia alternifolia, I am tryijng to train as a weeping tree

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The pillars on the west facing side of the terrace with Rosa Clair Matin

The pillars on the west facing side of the terrace with Rosa Clair Martin

My favourite rose

My favourite rose

Rosa Romosa, South facing Terrace

Rosa Rimosa, South facing Terrace

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Large Island

Large Island

Large Island

Large Island

Large Island

Large Island

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Large Island

Large Island

Large Island looking towards the formal beds

Large Island looking towards the formal beds

Large Island

Large Island

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Looking along the back border from under the fig

Looking along the back border from under the fig

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Looking from under Mulberry along the back bed

Looking from under Mulberry along the back bed

Left Hand Border

Left Hand Border

Under Mulberry

Under Mulberry

Left Hand Border

Left Hand Border

Left Hand Border

Left Hand Border

Left hand border

Left hand border

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Rosa Stanwell's perpetual, Triangular rose bed

Rosa Stanwell’s perpetual, Triangular rose bed

Sambucus with lovely dark foliage, Triangular rose bed

Sambucus with lovely dark foliage, Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

Triangular rose bed

The quality of the images isn’t as good as usual as today was very sunny but rain is forecast for tomorrow so I needed to get them today.

GBBD June – Looking for shade

Another GBBD has arrived; each seems to arrive so quickly now that there is so much activity in the garden.  Thanks to Carol at Maydreams for hosting this meme.  Pay her a visit to see what’s blooming in early summer or early winter (depending on which hemisphere) around the world today.

At last it’s hot, well today it is hot but the weather has been anything but consistent, rain, wind, cool nights, more wind and yet more wind that has been late May and up to now in June.  But the days are hot enough that when I want to sit outside during the day I am so grateful that the wisteria is filling out and the front terrace is in dappled shade.  A bonus is that the wisteria is flowering again profusely; I always think that the first flowers of spring are larger, but no, this year there are long racemes of delicately perfumed blooms hanging down under the canopy of shade giving foliage.

I tied in some of the new growth and pruned out tendriles that I didn’t want yesterday

The colours in the garden are heating-up; from pinks and purples to oranges, yellows and crimson.  I spoke about the gold of the small island a couple of days ago but gold and burnt orange aren’t restricted to that bed, they creep into the most surprising places, especially the Californian poppies which seed themselves charmingly into all the right places.

Just like the sun, yellow and gold!

The Salvia behind this is almost the same colour.

Tall, Hemerocallis

But there are so many blooms demanding my attention, click on the image below to see all the blooms in My Hesperides Garden today, they’re not all orange!

Looking accross the upper drive bed to the large island

May feast 1

There is something new and beautiful in the garden each day now.  I want to try to disciplinemyself to a post a day to share all the blooms that are adding to the overall beauty of My Hesperides Garden in May.

Today I chose Eschscholzia.

I don’t usually have a great success with seeds that need to be scattered in the ground where they are to flower but the packets (given to me by some good friends from the US) specifically stated that this was the best method.  So in Autumn 2010 I scattered the seed – and yes, success. I therefore wanted to try some other varieties and Donica from Reno kindly brought me some different varieties, some of which were sown last autumn.  There are the results.

E. californica from the Thai silk group

again from the Thai silk series

The foliage merges with the foliage of Euphorbia pontica, you can hardy see the difference.

In this series some colours are much stronger than others

The classic Californian poppy, strong vivid orange

But these too produce slight variations, all of which tone beautifully together.

Some are markedly darker almost red, especially in bud.

Some have yellow edges

As I had enjoyed them so much last year; I took seed heads from some for the plants and scattered them on any bare soil I found on the slope.  They have filled all the available soil and make me smile every time I see them.  Their simple flowers combine well with many other plant species creating different and interesting combinations throughout the borders.

with wild Irises, prostrate rosemary and stipa tenuissima

with thyme and euphorbia

contrasting with Phlomis sufruticosa

One even found its way next to Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo