28 December, 2012

Janus and December for Wildflower Wednesday

The Roman god Janus - for whom January is named – looks both at the past, and to the future. We have our new home on False Bay, and we are split between planning changes there, and preparing Elephant’s Eye for sale. On the verandah a purple Streptocarpus glows like a jewel.

Streptocarpus looking across to Rest and Be Thankful


Last week I was unplugged, with my mother celebrating her one hundredth Christmas. We look back to ‘memory full of years.’ We Skyped my niece’s son and daughter in London – which disconcerted my oldest sister! I think of my mother, emigrated to South Africa and calling her mother long distance in London. Very quickly, keep it short.   

Plums, figs
olives, lemon

I have one lonely lemon, and the lime after light trimming is growing at last. The first few large figs were claimed by the birds. Our curb appeal is two olive trees laden with a fresh crop. The plums trees are having a good year.

Blue sage, Plumbago
Phyllis van Heerden, pelargonium

Mostly, the garden is green, or golden with wild oats. The flowers are – sky blue Plumbago, Agapanthus, blue sage and the last flowers on the Plectranthus neochilus spurs. Scattered flowers on the pelargoniums – but not enough to pick. One Phyllis van Heerden is blooming but she finds the garden hot for an old lady to cope with.

Bauhinia natalensis, Plumbago
Dietes, Tarchonanthus camphoratus

In my Winter Chill bed, whose inspiration was found at Sissinghurst where I met colour-themed gardens for the first time. The Summer Gold idea began at Crathes Castle in Scotland. Natal Bauhinia natalensis is a more refined cousin to the huge Bauhinia galpinii and the orchid/butterfly trees of the East. The camphor bush has tiny pompoms showing that it is a daisy tree, Tarchonanthus camphoratus. Both the Bauhinia and the Dietes have days when they wake up covered in flowers.

Hibiscus tiliaceus
Pride of India, Elephant's Eye Light Railway

One Pride of India, crepe myrtle, has suddenly acquired luminous glowing bronze bark – and another is the first to burst into flower. The Ungardener revelled in building Elephant’s Eye Light Railway. Ungardening eyes are firmly focused on future projects. There will be a new pond. A water feature off the livingroom. The lawn gone will be a wide path of paving slabs. Hibiscus tiliaceus was making flowers when my old camera died, and has NEVER bloomed since, but the plant always has some leaves in glorious golden reds.  

Pearl of Bedfordview, Duftwolke, Perfume Passion
Tropical Sunset
Burning Sky, Karoo Rose

The roses bloom thru summer. If not picked for the vase, a day in the garden tends to turn petals to toast.

Chocolat
Waterlily

Water lilies in the garden for Christmas! I will miss our mountain view, but there will be sunset skies over the sea for an evening drive.

Agapanthus on Ungardening Pond

Agapanthus with Ungardening Pond fading into distant memory.

For Wildflower Wednesday the roses, Pride of India, water lily and fruit trees are commonorgarden, the rest Proudly South African.

Happy New Year to you, my loyal and new readers!


Pictures by Diana and Jurg
text by Diana Studer
AKA 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. what a delight to come here! Its a treat for my winter weary eyes, I think I love blue flowers the best of all, they stand out so beautifully and are so rare here in Nature, Happy New Year to you my friend, your photos are wonderful as are your unique gardens

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  2. It would be hard to eave this garden, but, it sounds like you have plans for a new one already in the works. Your mountain looks wonderful in the photo with Chocolat. Happy New Year and happiest 100th for your mother. gail

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    1. a few months to go between the 100th Christmas ... and the 100th birthday!

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  3. An opportunity in your hands. It sounds like the ungardener has thrown himself into the new garden, what about you? I will miss those mountains too -there were some great shots over the last two years I've been following. I look forward to hearing about more of the plans for the new garden.

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    1. We are a team, he is sketching plans and searching the web for paving slabs. I'm finding out what would be our natural indigenous plants there. We'll go hiking with a group from Kirstenbosch. But first, we need to sell this house.

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  4. Thank you for showing us such a lot of summer colour to brighten our dreary wet days!! Will there be room for another light railway in your new garden?!

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    1. EELR and the roses were for this garden. New garden, different ideas. He plans to travel on the train along the False Bay shore.

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  5. Shame your leaving the mountain, I hadn't heard of it before reading your blog. I'm sure the tourist board missed an opportunity.
    Anyway onto pastures new and looking forward to seeing how you approach your new garden. Curious to see what the Ungardener get's up to.
    Wishing you a happy new year Diana and best wishes & congratulations to your mum.

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  6. An exciting time for you; will you simplify the garden for sale? I look forward to more summer, warm posts from Elephant's Eye to soften the effects of winter here and when the time comes to seeing what you do will your new plot. Have a wonderful 2013, with lots of good luck for selling your house, Christina

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    1. Simplify the garden - yes. No longer watching our trees mature, but tidying up and harvesting plants to travel with me.

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  7. Diana it is exciting to move and start a new garden but it is hard to leave the old as I have done...as we will miss your mountain and lovely gardens I know I look forward to your wonderful new gardens by the water...wishing your mother a happy 100th!! Happy New Year!

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  8. It is a shame you have to leave this garden but I understand a new place and garden will be very exciting, with views over the sea, also not bad. So good to see these lovely summer pictures as we have winter but no frost, only grey, rainy weather. The Dietes is a favourite of mine, I have them already for many years in my greenhouse. Wish you a lot of success with selling your house!

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    1. In Camps Bay we had a sea view. The False Bay house is tucked in suburbia, a few minutes drive from the sea.

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  9. Beautiful flowers! Your photos are really brightening a rather grim rainy day in the north of the UK! Best wishes to your mum on her 100th Christmas!

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  10. That feels like it happened so quickly. One minute you were contemplating and now a new home. I too shall miss your mountain view but it sounds like you already have projects and promises of a happy future lined up. So congratulations are in order. To your new home and to your wonderful mother on reaching such a milestone.

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  11. Congratulations to your Mom. Hope you find a buyer soon. We will all miss the old garden but look forward to the new. Wondering if your blog will get a new name?

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    1. I will close this blog, and comments, but leave the posts up to be read. Meanwhile, I'm playing with a new blog.

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  12. First off, congratulations to your mother on 100 years! I'm sure she has plenty of stories to tell! Next, congratulations to you on selecting your new home. I was actually surprised to hear this since I thought it was still somewhat of a question mark whether you would move or not. Change is difficult, but I'm sure you will find much joy in your new location, too!

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    1. We too are surprised by how quickly and easily we went from looking for a house, to finding the one, and with a sheltered garden. We were prepared for months of searching.

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  13. Diana, when is the move due? Here's a suggestion - don't close down the blog, you are bound to lose readers, etc. etc. Rather develop the eye-dea, with Diana becoming the all-seeing, all-remembering old matriarch, due to follow her mother towards her century. It is too lovely and layered a name, and too well known to lose... No? Jack

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    1. When? - when we sell this house.

      No worries, Jack! I've no intention of losing my readers, Page Rank, online reputation. I'm playing with the name, and I'll need a new header. Then I'll link between the posts on the old and new blogs.

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  14. PS: May 2013 be a good yea for you and your family and loved ones!

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    1. PS there is a fresh Elephant's Eye waiting for us!
      http://www.travelground.com/blog/silvermine-elephants-eye-expedition/

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  15. How wonderful that your mother has celebrated 100 Christmases :) Hope that the new year treats you and your new home and garden most kindly Diana xxx

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  16. Happy New Year to you! What an exciting thing to be moving, although a bit bittersweet as you have poured your love into this garden. I bet it will miss you. I hope all goes well with the sale of your home.

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  17. Dear Diana, I look forward to seeing your new blog and your new garden! I am sure they will be as wonderful as the present ones. Good luck with selling the house. Congratulations to your Mum and a very Happy New Year to you! P. x

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  18. New year, new avatar - for Google authorship which requires a clean head shot.

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  19. Happy New Year, Diana! I wish you the best in 2013 as you move to a new home and make a new garden. I look forward to seeing your new place and the sunsets over the sea! Whoever buys Elephant's Eye will inherit a wonderful property; I hope they will love and take care of it as you have.

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    1. That - is my hope wish and prayer for our wildlife.

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  20. Congratulations on your mother's 100 Christmases. It's extra-nice that she had family around to help her celebrate, if via Skype, a phone call across the generations and from summer to winter. Enjoy your summer. It's clear Chocolat is enjoying his!

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  21. Good luck with selling your place. Lovely to see so many blooms in your garden. Here in Ireland it is wet, grey and mild.
    Hope you and yours have a wonderful 2013.
    Bridget x

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  22. Happy new year to you and your loved ones! I like that picture with the fruits...

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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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