It is a while since I’ve posted about the slope. I did take some photographs last week but then my laptop decided that it needed a rest and wouldn’t work; I am backing up almost every time I use it as I am sure it is going to break down very soon – I’m nursing it along as I really don’t want to buy a new one at this moment (apart from not knowing whether to change to Apple or continue with Microsoft – any thoughts on this would be gratefully accepted!)
Did I mention how hot it has been since we returned from the US? The slope is perfect for showing you what high temperatures, free draining soil and no rain since the beginning of June can do. Continue reading
After the scorching weather of last week, this week has been characterized by thunder storms every afternoon. The mornings have been warm but not reaching more than 25°C, there has been heavy rain which means that the garden has become lush looking again although the Stipa tenuissima that has already started to yellow now just looks untidy; it will improve slightly when it dries out again. Continue reading
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
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
Today it is hot, very hot! The temperatures have changed from cool spring to hot summer almost overnight. I keep a record of the temperatures in the greenhouse than this week so far the maximum for all three days has been over 40° C, that’s over 100° F. Continue reading
I had thought in the end of May View, that the slope wouldn’t change very much so I would have to choose another area of the garden; I was wrong, Wild Verbascums blown into the garden from the surrounding fields have changed the way it looks altogether.
Another aspect I hadn’t taken into account was that plants I don’t count as being on the slope really, above the line of the Holm Oak bushes, have grown to such an extent that they have become the background to the slope – this is especially true of the large orange Knifophia, truly Red Hot Pokers!
In the foreground of the above image you can just see a Salvia Turkestanica which seeded from the huge one I had 2 years ago (I’m relieved this one is not so large as they are so awful to remove because of the ghastly smell –I noticed before it doesn’t start to smell until it has flowers, weird!
Other things I’d quickly like to share with you: the blue of the Perovskia!
If you would like to read more about what’s happening in other gardens all over the world visit Helen at The Patient Gardener. Once again a big thank you to Helen for hosting this meme for us.
From next month I’m thinking of writing about the progress of individual beds. Listing all the plants they contain and highlighting changes I’ve made and why (if there is a reason). If I do this I’ll begin with the Small Island, just because I’m so pleased with the way it looks this year
This morning I harvested all the garlic and the white onions that had bent over (on their own, I don’t believe you should bend them forcefully)
You may have noticed fennel growing by the edge of the drive, I harvest the flowers, dry them put them into jars and use this intensely flavoured condiment when cooking roast potatoes, sausage risotto or Porcini (ceps).
As I walking past the lavender I saw this strange looking bug, I don’t know what it is or if it does any damage, it was alone so I doubt it will do much damage anyway.
Now is the time year that the colour in the garden fades and bleaches with the bright sun. The best time for taking photographs is early morning for just before dusk, but that doesn’t give a true version of how the garden looks for most of the day.
Some plants continue to look attractive even in the strong light but others look almost grey! Silver leaved plants sparkle, I have many different species and varieties and I enjoy the way they make the colours near them sing out.
Allium sphaerocephalon blends with many other plants and usually repeat flowers in the second and third years in my garden, it will even seed itself and flower quite quickly. Here it is with a Phormium I thought had died in the cold winter, it is now looking better than it did last year. I do like the way the allium grows from pale green through to deep purple and makes little exclamation marks of dense colour.
I planted a 1000 of these allium in a stream that winds its way through the other plants in the large island.
Much of the garden is dominated by blue and silver. Both the lavender and the Perovskia are flowering earlier this year, already I can only push through the bee-covered flowers of the lavender to walk along the paths that a month ago were wide enough for two people to walk along together.
Yellow roses on the pergola are flowering again to give the contrast in colour I wanted and that last year didn’t happen, I must keep feeding and dead-heading them so they’ll continue all summer.
The gift of wind-blown seed is a joy (not always of course as all the weeds in the garden are also brought in by the wind). Last year the field to the west of the garden (and the direction the wind blows from in summer) was full of Verbascum Thapsus which looks very much like the Verbascum you will know from gardens called Verbascum olympicum; it has cleverly seeded itself just into the edge of the drive as well as into the slope. When I drove up the drive the other night the headlights picked up their amazing forms looking like some kind of Triffid.
Visitors to the garden who haven’t seen it for a year are amazed at the growth rate of many of the plants – I am myself amazed at just how quickly the garden has filled out. I started digging the first border (Left hand border) in 2007 and the islands were planted in autumn 2009 so it is still a very ‘new’ and I am so happy that it is starting already to feel mature.