The last two years 2010 and 2011 have had extremely hot summers and very little rain. The garden became very very dry despite what little watering we were able to give from the canal close by.
However due to the deep root establishment of many of the shrubs and perrenials such as cistus, salvias and other garrigue/alkaline loving plants most of the planting actually thrived remarkably well.
Close planting allowed moisture to remain under the foliage and any early morning dew stay on the soil surface for longer.
Even the roses seemed to flower better and re flower in the autumn months. Salvias, irises and spring and early summer bulbs -alliums,tulips all did well.
In the height of the summer months the grasses thrived such as stipa gigantea and the stipa tennuissima, and although by late August the garden appeared to be completley dried up and burnt much was still in flower and continued to survive until finally the September rains arrived and temperatures started to drop.