‘Orange pom-pom bush’ was our name for this shrub as children, which describes it very well. I came to know the name Jew’s Mallow much later.
I thought the bush might have died in the drought last year so I was pleased to find it in flower.
Beside the track at the top of the orchard, driving quickly past I thought I saw a primrose.
It looked like just the one, half way up a muddy bank.
But when I went to have a proper look later on, I found dozens of blooms.
I wouldn’t say the place was exactly carpeted, but it was lovely to see that the plants are spreading.
I grabbed a quick photo because it was just starting to rain.
The flowering of wild chicory coincides with the hot weather.
The stems are a stringy, nobbly mesh covered in buds, a number of which bloom each day to create a breath-taking early-morning display.
Usually by mid-morning the day’s crop is so shrivelled it scarcely has any colour.
But, for some strange reason, not today.
The chicory flowers have stayed open, so I took advantage.
Chicory has a host of culinary uses, but for me it’s just a visual feast.
The oleander season is just beginning; this is one of the first blooms to open.
The altitude we’re at is a bit too high for oleanders to flourish because every year the frost battens them back, killing some.
But they still make a display, with colours ranging from pure white through ivory, apricot-and-cream, shell pink and pink to deep red.
Their smell seems to vary according to colour and even individual bush, but this pink one has a sweet, light perfume of vanilla and rose with a hint of coconut.
They don’t need much watering (although they appreciate it) and since the winter prunes them anyway, I don’t need to!
There’s something rain-like about wisteria.
It must be to do with the tinge of grey in the mauve, and the way the tresses flow in the wind.
This has been the wettest spring for 30 years, I’m told, plus it started raining all over again today, so it’s fitting that the wisteria blooms should be super-long.
This one even continues beyond the bottom of the photo.
The nectarine tree has leaf curl.
A lot of the leaves are blistered, swollen and brightly coloured as well as curled; in fact this fungal disease would be attractive if I didn’t know it was so damaging.
Seeing as the tree’s finished flowering, Chokri and I gave it the after-flower spray, but we left out the insecticide element and only used fungicide.
That way, if any bees had braved the windy conditions, they wouldn’t be affected.
It was a necessary precaution because the next tree along in the grid is the Granny Smith apple tree which is in full bloom.