04 November, 2011

Winter Chill at Paradise and Roses

November is rose month. Prompted by Ludwig's Roses Newsletter, I fed them. Puttering around the Paradise and Roses garden dead-heading, I harvest for vases. Imaginary tabletop in mind, I prune the stalks down to the new low. Cut out the extra fork, so the remaining bud can flourish.

Oyster Pearl

I chose to add a lot of indigenous plants. Winter Chill with pale and white roses, has suffered from my enthusiasm. Only two roses have survived competition with vigorous neighbours, who claim their food and drink. I do I do cut back the Dusty Miller hedge. Quite hard so it looks scraggly. Just weeks later we are back to the battle of – but, I’d like you to be knee high!

Looking out the window at Paradise and Roses

Winter Chill at Paradise and Roses

This bed was planted in September 2007. (20082009. 2010Autumn flush in May 2011). The camphor bush Tarchonanthus littoralis (from the Cape Peninsula, along the E Cape coast to KZN) has reached shoulder height. I am hoping for a gnarled and twisted stem. It has deeply cracked grey bark, tactile texture. Fragrant velvety leaves, only the female flowers have puffballs of cotton fibre.

Bauhinia natalensis, Tarchonanthus littoralis

Bauhinia natalensis the leaves butterflying with more colourful cousins. Small white flowers. Tall and slender.

Salvia chamelaeagnea

Now what I love most here, is the blue sage Salvia chamelaeagnea which is bluer and bluer by the day. These leaves abandon their sticky fragrance on my fingers for hours.
Knoffel/garlic buchu

The smaller shrubs, adding a different layer of fine texture. Knoffel/garlic buchu, wonderful heady aroma and angular geometric leaves, poised to break into flower.   

Scabiosa incisa, Scabiosa africana

My Scabiosa are two South African species. I always battle to remember which is who. Scabiosa incisa (Piketberg! to Grahamstown) is slightly darker (more so in life than in photo), the flowers are tighter and feathered leaves earn the incisa. Scabiosa africana, (from the Cape Peninsula) lighter, a full pompom, and thick substantial furred leaves.

Pearl of Bedfrodview

Great North battled, the granadilla (gone in 2014) and the Dusty Miller hedge make selfish neighbours. Pearl of Bedfordview has gone from last week’s trusses of flowers, to yesterday’s still a few perfect flowers, to waiting for the next buds. 

Great North

I wanted predominantly silver grey foliage. Since that is usually an adaption to summer heat, it should be easy to find South African plants to suit. But, most of what I try seems not to like me. So we have the Dusty Miller, and a border of Santolina, cotton lavender, both capital M Mediterranean. Since I was aiming at a snowbank effect, those little yellow flowers … are not what I want to see on the snow. Cut ‘em all off today! 

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.)


  1. Diana the flowers look wonderful...I can feel the suns warmth and smell their fragrances or at least imagine it. I have a white garden that sports some other color bloom from an invader or improperly marked plant. I love the color of the roses and that salvia is heaven...

  2. So it's "off with your head" if it doesn't perform? LOL.

    Lovely, adventurous flowers or not.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  3. I am always amazed at the different flowering times in our gardens. My Salvias are still showing no sign of flowering, but yours look stunning. My garlic buchu has already finished and yours just starting - love that smell. I bought (I thought) only purple Scabiosa africana yet now I have mostly white blooms. Beautiful post - even the roses. :)

  4. Diana, your garden looks wonderful!
    Speaking of winter chill: We have unusually hot temperatures for November, reaching up to 20°C. It's nice, though it makes you wonder about climate change after all.
    Have a nice weekend!

  5. Garden girl - in autumn when the weather is kind, Scabiosa will grow enthusiastically from bits tucked deeply in the ground. Spread your chosen purple next autumn!

    Elke - no doubt in my mind about global weirding. They have just found a huge crack in the Antarctic ice sheet.

  6. I really enjoyed some of the background info to some of the plants and blooms. The white rose is gorgeous and such a big bloomer.

  7. Diana, your roses are gorgeous - makes mine lokk like "wannabees". I LOVE the Salvia chamelaeagnea. If I come across it I'm going to try it in my little sunny spot, with the wannabees :)

  8. Christine - ours came from Kirstenbosch annual plant sale.

  9. Your roses are beautiful! I am sorry they are outcompeted, but it must be very satisfying to grow plants that really thrive in your garden.

  10. Hello Diana, beautiful photos and beautiful garden as always... thank you :)

  11. The blue Salvia is really nice...

  12. Love the blue salvia. But Oh, MY! Great North is amazing!

  13. It sounds like your indigenous plants aren't accustomed to being able to play nicely... I love the look of the garlic buchu--what a wonderful texture. How do you manage to take photographs of beautiful white roses in the sunshine and have the white look so soft and lovely? My photos of white flowers are always overblown, even if I try taking them on a darker setting.

  14. I'm favoring the silver/gray foliage in my garden this year too. Maybe it's the cool, calming effect it provides. Don't know if you can grow the globe mallow there but it has been a favorite this year for its long bloom time and evergreen silver/gray foliage. Seems we have quite a few plants in common so maybe it will work for you too.

  15. You seem to allow your roses to do their natural thing. I hate it when people keep their roses short.

  16. Holley - I am disappointed with Great North. It is sold as a pillar rose, self supporting, can have 100 blooms. Tick one, self supporting. But it has never had more than a few flowers. I was expecting The North Pole in that corner of the rose garden. GRRRumble.

    Stacy - all credit to auto settings on the camera. On the other hand, all the wide views are washed out. I always seem to be out there in midday sun.

    Cat - I'm trying to lean hard towards indigenous weatherproof choices. But will investigate your globe mallow.

    Firefly - this year I pruned VERY lightly and groom whenever.

  17. What beautiful gardens! So full of texture ... I agree, the sage! What blue and love the scent.

  18. Just found your blog. Lovely photos and garden. I've just picked up some Scabiosa 'Clive Greaves' seeds from a seed swap which I'm looking forward to starting off in the Spring. I look forward to reading your blog and seeing photos of your beautiful weather as I enter winter here in Wales.

  19. A palette of exciting and unknwon plants and then oh lovely roses.

  20. Your bit of Paradise appears heavenly as your summer approaches. Great North looks huge! I also like the Pearl of Bedfrodview. Roses are still blooming here in November but frost will get them before too long. All of my roses are utilitarian, requiring little maintenance. I admire the beautiful blooms of yours!

  21. Catherine - that is exactly why I call it - Paradise, and Roses!

    Deb - my roses are never sprayed. They must sink or swim. As Townmouse wrote about tolerance levels. We have aphids, and ladybirds and white eyes (feathered birds!). We have thrips and black spot, but we have enough flowers for wildlife, the garden, and the house.

  22. It seems that we are never satisfied with our gardens. Here I am bemoaning shade and you have problems despite all your sunshine. I am sure you will find the balance, perhaps the new indigenous plants will fit in nicely.


Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
His Panasonic Lumix FZ100
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

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