Our courtyard has a small section given over to four o’clock flowers.
They insist on growing in the gravel there rather than in the flowerbed above where they were planted.
They also show a very independent spirit about when they open their flowers.
Four o’clock is wildly inaccurate; these ones don’t open till late evening.
Then they party all through the night and into the next morning.
This post is my 730th since I started posting regularly every day. To complete 2 years, I need one more because 2012 was a leap year! At the precise anniversary, I’ll be moving over lock, stock and barrel to Daily Reflection on our company website, where you’ll already find a duplicate of this photo. Please come and follow me there!
Cupid’s Darts are one of the flowers we grew from seeds sent from Britain.
I’ve cossetted them in many places: weeded them, stopped them from being trampled on, watered them in times of drought.
But as usual with plants, they grow where they want to grow, in this case in the lowest bit of the garden before it slopes away as field, out of sight unless you make a point of looking.
I looked up about their name having not been able to see anything dart-shaped about them.
Apparently the ancient Greeks used them to make a love potion. So! The Viagra of the ancient world!
According to the weather forecast, it’s possible summer may be returning tomorrow or thereabouts.
After a daily thunderstorm for several days, we were beginning to have doubts about our usually reliable July.
But the plants never lose faith.
Here are a couple of especially sunny flowers which I came across while accompanying Chokri as he strimmed.
I’ve been following my usual practice of trying to save the more unusual plants and the best and brightest blooms, but it isn’t always possible.
At long last – summer!
If winter is Italy’s best kept secret, summer is Italy’s fixture.
It’s not like Britain where you have one glorious day and then it rains and you say: “I think that was summer.”
Here you wake day after day to hot sun, cool shade, bright flowers and (in our case) a brilliant aquamarine swimming pool!
The downside is insects, but being half way up a mountain they don’t bother us a great deal.
Some insects are a joy, of course: butterflies, potter wasps, crickets, fireflies.
The fireflies appear when we’re having supper outside after dark – tiny pulsing lights that could be sparks from a fire, or bits of tinsel in a snowstorm globe.
They make a display for our enjoyment but at the same time they remind us that the night belongs more to the wild creatures than to us.
This is the path that runs round the back of the flowerbed, next to the edge of the ‘moat’.
Every colour of the rainbow is present.
It’s a narrow path – only 60 centimetres (2 foot) wide – but the flowers have decided they’re going to make it even narrower.
In one place we’ve battened back a rosemary with a trellis of sticks so that you can actually get by.
Sometimes you have to break the amorous bond of 2 sweet pea tendrils joining from opposite sides.
But it’s not a path that takes you anywhere in particular – just one to enjoy!
It’s the corncockle season, when furry buds open into sturdy, stunningly marked, bright flowers, one per stalk.
I told Chokri they were poisonous out of a sense of responsibility (you never know), and since then he’s looked askance at them.
To my “Don’t you think they’re beautiful,” he replied “I think they’re poisonous”.
But so are lots of things: oleanders, foxgloves, wisteria pods, sweet pea seeds, lilies-of-the-valley …
A while back I mentioned to him about foxgloves yielding digitalis, the heart medicine, and I could see he was impressed.
So in the spirit of being an advocate of corncockles, I looked them up on the net. Lo and behold, among a number of other things, they’ve been used to treat cancer!
I can’t wait to tell Chokri.
Meantime the flowers obviously have another enemy in these small snails, which are abundant at the moment.
The grass is growing fast in the orchard, especially with so much rain.
But it’s still short enough to reveal all the tiny flowers which are so easily overlooked.
Smaller still than speedwell and scarlet pimpernel (which exists in a midnight blue variety as well here), there’s a miniature world of field madder and tiny, tiny forget-me-nots scarcely visible to the naked eye.
Landing in their midst, a moth with a pattern like the boldest of Tiffany lamps is a complete aesthetic alien.
Compare it with the pink star of the field madder in the bottom right-hand corner!