I started last Christmas, to record what is blooming in my garden each month. Not an exhaustive record. More a strolling around the garden, what catches my eye. As a garden resolution for this year, I’ll join Gail at Clay and Limestone for her Wildflower Wednesday, and this year I will only record indigenous/South African flowers. (Leaving the roses and other exotics to shine on my mid-month garden walk).
This January has been perhaps not as hot as usual, but it is as dry as usual. The level in the town dam is sinking to muddy summer water. The garden shows itself in summer’s drab greens and browns. I need to take Town Mouse’s advice and cut back perennials and shrubs hard this autumn, so we will get fresh green.
|Cyperus and bulrush|
|Restio and wild grasses|
There is some colour in the garden, apart from a few beleaguered summer roses. An ankle-high drift of orange and yellow Bulbinella spreads across the garden. The wild Jasmine we planted outside the bedroom to cover a rainwater tank. Vibrant pink Phyllis van Heerden Ruttyruspolia (a hybrid whose parents come from Tropical and East Africa, gets thirsty!) And a gentle bluey mauve Freylinia, with long trumpets, supposed to attract moths and butterflies.
There are spots of colour scattered around from a variety of wild pelargoniums. Species, rather than horticultural, this year’s, must have, NEW!
In Paradise, our rose garden, the blue sage has claimed the white/winter/pale bed. But our Mandela’s Gold Strelitzia, having moved with us from the Camps Bay garden, is coming into bloom. Butter yellow, with a soft blue tongue, unlike the intense colours of the original species. Whose leaves you see beyond and to the right.
|Mandela's Gold Strelitzia|
Between that sage and lots of Plumbago the garden shows itself in a blue mood. We have Plumbago in the original white and faded sky blue. And also the new, more intense blue, of Royal Cape.
|Plumbago, Royal Cape below|
Looking for flowers today, I was trying to capture these tiny yellow paintbrush daisy flowers. Where I found Gail’s tiny bees. I did! The camera didn’t. And these harvester ants hard at work.
Trying to find a way to show you just how tiny these flowers are, I used the macro in a Mason jar technique. Using the rim of the jar/bowl/vase as a tiny tripod to sharpen the focus. The garden is blue, but neither the sage nor the Plumbago survives in captivity. Once picked, they sulk and shed flowers. This is my January garden bouquet for Noelle. (I do have tiny vases with roses here, almost every month).
Behold, the ghost of blue sage. Like a homeopathic remedy. The flower is out of sight, leaving a shimmer of vibrant green from the calyx, which looks more purple in life. And a wash of sea green enhanced turquoise, from flowers which are a much quieter faded blue to my own eye.
|Ghost of blue sage|
Pictures and words
by Diana of Elephant's Eye
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