Turn away from Winter Chill, and gaze at Summer Gold, where the sun shines down and we battle with overexposed photos. The first hot summer breeze turns my mind to lowering the blinds.
|Looking out the other livingroom window|
I want the foliage to support the colour theme and provide texture and interest. Even flowers, regardless of whether the roses are game, or out for the count. I choose first, indigenous, adapted to hot summer, wet winter, clay soil.
|Winter Chill, Summer Gold|
wide views of Summer Gold
This bed was planted in September 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. Autumn flush in May 2011. Of the four beds, only here does the parasol play nicely. Trimeria has taught me another lesson. If you are choosing the plant for its perfectly round leaves, check first that the one you take home has read the instructions. The apple green has a touch of gold.
Each bed should have one plant to provide weight and heft with large dramatic leaves, here Mandela’s Gold Strelitzia. And a grass to provide movement – Mare's tails (Mexican feather grass). Striped Liriope from Japan, zebra grass from Eastern Asia.
|Strelitzia Mandela's Gold|
Mexican feather grass
Returning to South Africa I have Sansevieria. First the horizontal stripes. Then our neighbour Helen was ripping out – I’ll have them! – another variety with a wide cream border. Planted in drifts to give two dialects.
Going smaller. Plectranthus madagascariensis edged with ivory, a gentle fragrance, and grows like hell even from bits left as mulch, or sulks and dies in summer. But there is always a survivor to harvest the next tribe from.
Liriope, Plectranthus madagascariensis
Paradise and Roses. My favourite rose is this Casanova. I love the ‘new house’ name. The soft apricot blushed yellow. And of all my roses this one smells good enough to eat, fruity, apricots!
I wanted a striped rose in each bed. Tropical Sunset plays with yellows and oranges.
|Tropical Sunset, Courvoisier|
And as I glance out the window, I see that the Dietes has burst into a riot of flowers today! Our wild iris, white with purple tongues and brown dots and a flash of yellow on the petals. That will be Wildflower Wednesday!
Pictures and words by Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville, near Cape Town in South Africa
(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.)