09 November, 2012

Summer Southeaster swept into my garden

Our garden is in that dip, when the flowers and lush green of autumn winter and spring’s bulbs – are lying down in summer tans. Crumpled leaves are ready to be chopped and mulched for the next season’s flowers.

Agapanthus bud in morning sun at Ungardening Pond

The March lilies are a distant memory in November. The watsonias are leaving. Christina in her Hesperides Garden, shares my mediterranean climate, but hers is on a dry Italian hill. Her summer was hot and dry,  unusually hard on her plants. Summer dormancy. Hotter still. Scorching August.

Agapanthus in the afternoon

Feeling gloomy I took the camera for a walk, and was surprised by buds on Agapanthus and Dais heading for Christmas. I share Irish Carrie at Grow our Own’s delight in a sprouting bean.

We had 3 unusual days of fierce Southeaster. The plants were appalled and shrizzled up. Then this gardener was felled by a bad cold, and lost a few days. Once I got back to watering the roses, I see although petals have fallen, Perfume Passion and Chaim Soutine have fat buds in waiting.

Agapanthus at fig

At the kinder cooler ends of the day, I will cut back the tanned leaves on the once were bulbs. My humungous white daisy bush is resting with a migraine – will be severely cut back, leaving the few fresh flowers, and tucked away to recover.

Agapanthus with bietou

Life is what happens was written in a short window between the wind, and the down with a cold. Sent out there, as my affirmation that – it is the right thing to do, the right time to do it. I’m enfolded by your comments from distant places. As dedicated garden bloggers, you read between the lines, feel the unease and share some of the anguish.

Duftwolke

Some of the ideas that were discarded for this house can revive. Earthcote paints – environment friendly, with textures that invite touching, and mellow colours (Farrow and Ball style) with a South African twist. They even offer migraine-friendly exterior paint to reduce glare. Choosing fresh colours will put some of the sparkle back in my life.

Dais cotonifolia

Dust we are and to dust we shall return. And in between we make a garden – Anonymous was a woman.

Now I will wage a gentle war on the garden. Opening wide the paths, and the view of the mountain. Chopping and laying thick mulch, for the roots and the creatures. Filling in where necessary with cuttings from March. Harvesting my collected bulbs from the garden to pots for travelling. Striking cuttings. Honing and refining this garden to what I saw in my mind’s eye.

Kniphofia and Hibiscus tiliaceus

We have seen a house with a hand-painted mural, a whole field of blooming cosmos in mauves and pinks, in the en suite bathroom, and the attached bedroom is painted in pillarbox red and stop the traffic yellow. How could they?! The guest room carpeted in sparkly synthetic cherry red, as if they’d just slaughtered a pig. I’m taken back to Jen@Muddy Boot Dreams’ horror stories about househunting in the Okanagan.

Tropical Sunset and Trimeria rotundifolia

Home sweet home. Love to sit on the verandah, looking up to the mountain, hearing the birds, cat reclining on the balustrade, and our green layer between us and the neighbours.

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.)

32 comments:

  1. Diana, you poor thing synthetic sparkly red? Sigh, well if you can believe it the house with the peptobismal pink bathroom sold...I hope that the new owners repainted. I would have done a bit of sandblasting first.

    I am confused, you are moving, or you are not? The gardens where you live are so beautiful....it's a hard choice I am sure.

    Jen

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    Replies
    1. We will move, one day. Still planning for now.

      Our first green house from hell, half renovated - has since sold. But we've seen a fresh - green house from hell!

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  2. Now I don't know if my comment went through or not....but I forgot to mention how stunning Chocolat`e looks.

    Jen

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  3. Summer is hard here, too. Too hot, too humid, often dry. But I love our spring and fall! I will have to read Jen's house hunting horror stories. I have a bad habit of walking into a space and immediately starting to redecorate it in my mind. Slaughtered pig carpet? What an image!

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    1. still feel as if I need to hose my shoes off ...

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  4. Yours and Jens stories are why i ended up building...and now we will stay I hope for a while at least until we can no longer climb the stairs and then we may have to downsize a bit...hope you are felling better.

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    1. We built twice, first with stairs, now without.

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  5. I'm following you only a short time, but I think it must be hard to move, your garden is so beautiful. Love the silhouet picture of your cat Chocolat. The sentence of that anonymous woman sounds wonderful, in Dutch it is: "Uit stof zijt gij voortgekomen, tot stof zult gij wederkeren. En in de tussentijd maken we een tuin". So true!

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  6. The last house I bought had psychedelic pink walls and neon yellow paneling. We painted the walls a warm cream and I ripped off the paneling one day when I was sick of looking at it. Underneath I found tongue and groove woodwork original to the house, which had been built in 1895. We had our current house built and I still love it. Red carpet would bug me, too.

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    1. They say ... you have to build three times, before you get it right. Can't face a third round.

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  7. Thank you for practicing your future move in public. I think many of us will be making similar moves in the years to come(I hope many years in the future), and you seem to be doing what I would do. Continue making changes to your garden, with only a partial eye toward that future smaller garden.

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  8. Ah, we have had one day plans for close on ten years now, I think we have now put it behind us. Your Agapanthus with buds! of course here in the northern hemisphere we have our tubs of them all wrapped up in polly bubble and placed in the greenhouse. I had to split them this year as they had become completely root bound and not flowering so well. Surprisingly they do survive if planted outdoors but our weaker sunshine doesn't give time for blooming.

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  9. I sympathise with your heat, extremes of anything makes us gardeners worry about our plants. It seems that plants are more resilient than we think, a good chop back and they start again, thank goodness. Hope you soon find the house of your dreams!

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    1. I'm halfway thru the white daisy bush, maybe tomorrow I'll finish it?

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  10. Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well, and it sounds like the house-hunting has been interesting. I love the way you describe your plants' reactions to events--the plants appalled by the southeaster, the white Daisy bush resting with a migraine... They do feel the stress, too, don't they? Take care, and I hope you are feeling much better.

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  11. This past south-easter seemed particularly nasty. I had Felicia flowers one day and now only dried seed heads. Even some of my Pelargoniums are looking shrivelled. My garden usually only looks like this in Jan/Feb. We also have a sometime in the future move planned and I too am dreaming about new and different plants.

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    1. not the weather that the plants in my garden signed up for! I'm looking forward to seeing your new garden on your blog, one day.

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  12. Summer is coming and this past weekend was hot (yet very windy yesterday, but that is PE for you). I'm just glad for all the rain we had this winter so that we don't start the summer with dry gardens.

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  13. I hope your cold passes quickly. I love seeing your Agapanthus in bud, I have just planted lots of different types - my purchases from Courson so Im hoping they will all flower next year. The thought of leaving my garden fills me with sadness but I know I will have to do it one day but like you (I think) I'm not thinking about then but NOW. Thanks for the link, Christina

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  14. Bittersweet. I look forward to hearing and seeing your plans for the new garden but will certainly miss this wonderful garden you have been enjoying for these many years. What will you take with you?

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    1. I'm making a little list - triage. There are things I love, which are common and freely available. Others that I brought from Camps Bay, that will move on to the third garden. And some we bought for this garden, which I have learnt to love.

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  15. A southeaster - it sounded so odd to me at first only to realize, of course! we are on opposite sides of the world. here we dread the nor'easters. Sorry to hear you say that you are considering moving. Leaving behind a garden, with all the work, beauty and memories they hold is such a difficult matter. However, it can be a really positive step as well (once you get past the sparkly red carpet anyway ;-))

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    1. the sparkly red carpet was paired with a huge 'conservatory' and a lot of paving. Not much garden. Not for us. Still looking, for a new garden.

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  16. Your garden is prolific and promising and oh so lush! I was born is SA. We migrated when I turned 13. I have been back a few times and I am grateful that Perth (Australia) shares so many similarities with a country I will always hold dear to my heart. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. It's so special to have my small blog noticed and read by new people. Have a super day! XX PS - I'll be dropping in regularly! :-)

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  17. dear Diana, I think what I am detecting is in-between-itis. In between seasons the garden stops looking lovely, and as well in your mind, you are in between gardens and houses. The cure is, as you say, the enfolding of your fellow bloggers, and just time. That photo of Chocolat is stunning. Mulling over your question about the next garden, I think I know now: I want a sparse Japanese garden next.

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    1. way back, when we were planning the first garden, I had a design of rectangles. Japanesy. Looked wonderful on paper, but the Ungardening was too difficult. Hmm, something with paving and rectangles, and new sand and sea breeze adapted plants ...!!

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  18. oh my gosh I found you again1 I was visiting Jen and noticed your comment, my blog crashed and I lost everyone, but I have found you and I am so glad, such amazing photos!I have missed your posts and will catch up now! Best wishes from Canada!I ahve rejoined as a follower, I won't lose you again!

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  19. Still working on my kitchen. I can't imagine what is involved in building a home! You have such a beautiful garden though and doing this all over again will be a huge project, but these things are fun and keeps us moving forward in life.

    Carla

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  20. Even if this does not go through, I wanted to tell you how sorry I was that your garden was pushed to the edge of ruin. So sorry.

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    Replies
    1. Not to worry! Just a few days of wind. Our garden is flourishing ;~)

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  21. Your summer may keep be from Nature Deficit Disorder in my winter garden.

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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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