Today is Ferr'agosto, the Italian feast of the Assumption but in fact a very ancient festival dating back to Roman times. All of Itali is on holiday today.
This August has been very different from past years: after an impossibly hot dry July with temperatures reaching near to 40C, we were plunged into gloom and yesterday it was only 18C and torrential rain and thunderstorms. Only by unplugging and disconnecting every electrical connection in the house did we manage to avoid the total meltdown caused by the massive storm a week ago.
So those few stalwart plants that might have been in bloom are struggling to pick themselves off the ground, although with any luck we will see a fresh flush of blooms in coming days. Right now the brave pink Salvia microphylla is holding its head up but with only a few blooms remaining whilst the luminous creamy Oleander which has flowered longer than usual has been bashed about. The only rose properly in flower is Blush Noisette but the intensely blue Perovskia soldiers on undaunted. I have found that Tulbaghia combines well with the ornamental grasses and also lends a welcome splash of violet in this difficult month. Finally, a new discovery (which I can't remember the name of but probably comes from Australia?) has put on a spurt of orange flowers and is cheering up my desolate gravel garden.
Buon Ferr'Agosto a tutti!