The Slope on Thursday – A sunny October day

With wind from the NNE (Grecale) the temperatures dropped significantly this week with the high being about 17° C.  The clocks changed on Saturday night meaning that the mornings are slightly lighter but seem cold and each evening it becomes darker earlier.  Yesterday was cloudy so it was almost dark at 5.30pm; I think today the light will last longer, it has been a warmer sunnier day, but the wind is still blowing.  Still the house is warm enough not to need any heating; with walls of approx. 60 cm they absorb the heat during the summer and release the heat in winter like giant storage radiators.  But the floors are cold in the morning, I mentioned a while ago that I was going to look for my slippers, but then it warmed up for a while and I didn’t need them, this week I have gratefully put them on. Continue reading

GBFD – Autumn colour?

I often complain that there is no autumn colour in my garden, but this month I can claim to have some!

At last some colour! This is Persimmon

At last some colour! This is Persimmon

Lonicera, honeysuckle

Lonicera, honeysuckle

Lonicera, honeysuckle has lovely pink leaves at present; they’re hanging on too which is a bonus when even green leaves have been ripped from stems and branches by strong winds.

Lonicera, honeysuckle

Lonicera, honeysuckle


Melia azedarach is beginning to show some buttery yellow foliage, but these leaves usually fall very quickly to reveal their bright yellow berries, which stand out beautifully again a blue sky.

new foliage on Quercus ilex

New foliage on Quercus ilex

Look how much new foliage the Quercus ilex have put on during autumn, that’s more than in most springs!

Acca sellowiana, Feijoa

Acca sellowiana, Feijoa

Acca sellowiana, Feijoa has also benefited from the warm wet autumn this year; it is better for the plants to put on new growth now rather than in spring as often the plant can’t sustain the foliage put on in spring which might be followed by a very dry July and August as happened this year.  Lots of shrubs and trees put on masses of new growth, more than I’d ever seen before because of the very wet spring but then the new growth shrivelled and died due to the drought in August.  New growth now has time to become strong enough to withstand drought conditions.

Lots of bright new foliage on Buxus, box

Lots of bright new foliage on Buxus, box

What foliage is attracting your attention this month; is it colourful autumn tints or new growth that is making the most impact?

To join GBFD all you need to do is add a comment with a link back to your post; a link in your post to mine is nice, but not a prerequisite.

End of Month View – March 2012 – The Slope

This is a very late post but I wanted to participate if only for my own records, I find this meme, hosted by Helen, the Patient Gardener, one of the most useful meme’s of the month.  It helps me see the progress in the garden and what still needs to be done to truly create my Hesperides garden.

From when I began work on the slope by the drive I have concentrated most of these posts on this area.  It has filled out well and has surpassed by hopes for it to become one of my favourite parts of the garden.  Almost everything is from self-seeded plants moved from other parts of the garden.  It is not irrigated and in fact would be very difficult to do so because water just runs off the, in places, very steep slope.

Here are two images of how the area looked in October 2009.

Looking accross the slope from the drive

Looking up the slope with newly planted Persimmon tree

In November 2010 I planted Stipa tenuissima, Gaura, Iris and Euphorbia all from the garden.

For this post I want to show some images of how full of interesting foliage and colourful flowers the slope has become.

Looking accross the slope from the same position as above

Time for the tree stakes to be removed

Looking up the slope, as above

The bare soil has been colonised by Californian poppy, European poppy (not flowering yet) and a wild plant, a member of the daisy family that I use the new leaves in salads. Here it’s called cresto di gallo or cock’s comb – a deliciously different taste, there is also wild rocket again I allow it to grow so I can pick it for salads.

The lower area edges the drive and at the top becomes part of a border that sweeps round and into a path that forms the large and small islands.  The part abutting this path I call the upper slope and will be showing this separately at some other time; the two areas are separated by windbreak planting of bush Quercia ilex, Arbutus and other shrubs which are included to protect the rest of the garden from the desiccating summer wind that blows in from the coast almost every afternoon.