This morning I made my usual monthly record of what's in bloom. At last. Or as usual. (Click the Dozen for Diana tab, for earlier months) First fruits. A solitary orange on our three newly planted citrus trees at the Mediterranean Sun Circle. The berries on the Australian brush cherry - why don't the birds eat them? There is a layer of fallen, ripe berries on our gravel driveway. One of our handful of apples, from three trees! And the guavas are coming, sprouting from the roots of trees we dug up to make the driveway. Now I can see for myself why they are frowned on, as invasive aliens, which we are supposed to only grow with a permit!
Now is supposed to be the autumn flush of the roses. Jack at Sequoia Gardens in Haenertsburg up north has it. Our roses are only just shrugging off that week of temperatures hitting 40C. Couple of bushes have given up the unequal battle. Pink Perfume Passion welcomes visitors at the front door. A nibbled Germiston gold. Striped Tropical Sunset. Pale yellow Courvoisier, gives bunches of flowers, once it gets going again. And Papa Meilland against the sky, because he is growing so tall, that is the closest I can get. Without cutting him off for the vase.
In the centre is my Natal Bauhinia (plant portait coming). Then clockwise - sky blue plumbago (which we saw growing wild at Addo, with the elephants ((for Andre)) ) Purple Streptocarpus (the pink one I did in, not enough water) Dietes, wild Iris. Purple Dimorphotheca jucunda (renamed from Osteospermum) Dianthus x allwoodii. Blue blue Pontederia, invasive Pickerel weed (but it is so beautiful!) Wild blue sage. White plumbago. And Tulbaghia (which North Americans call Society Garlic. Why? Garlic I understand.)
March's showgirl is the March Lily in the centre. Clockwise we have tangerine Bulbine. A very deep red Pelargonium, where the camera has captured gold highlights reflecting the sun. Yellow bietou, a daisy bush, planted by the birds as they like the black berries (Book says - Chrysanthemoides monilifera - Common and widespread on sands along the seaboard of southern and tropical Africa). Yellow Tecomaria, Cape Honeysuckle. 3 wild Pelargoniums. Aloe ciliaris, tree aloe, which will climb up through shrubs. And you will remember Phyllis van Heerden?
Photos and words by Diana of Elephant's Eye