25 January, 2010

January flowers in our garden

Just before our camera threw up its hands, and said - Right I'm off - and gave up the ghost …

Abelia and Adam-ant

We had a morning with the tail end of sea fog rolling in from Langebaan lagoon, and rising when it hits our mountains, to give us a dense cover of low cloud. One grateful reason why, altho it gets HOT in Porterville, it doesn't get as hot as it does, over the mountain, and inland to the Karoo. Semi-desert.
And the reason why fynbos with proteas and restios flourishes in lower temperatures and moister air, up there ON the mountain. Perfect light for taking photos, while the camera was still up for it.

Red and rose pelargoniums

January is hot. Mid thirties. Pushing 40C. And we have had one whole millimetre of rain so far this month. Thru the night, so the plants got to sleep in moist coolth for once. Grateful to be able to look on the pond. My water lilies have stopped sulking, since we, that is the Ungardener, has cleared most of the invasive Kariba weed. Makes good mulch. The flowers keep coming. The water lily is another of those archetypal plants, that everyone recognises. A simple line drawing, circular leaves, in radiating circles. With those glorious flowers rising at the centre of the circles.

Deluverly cool wet water

We have heavy clay soil, which is fertile. But in summer it goes like concrete. Try to dig with a trowel, and it does a convincing imitation of spaghetti. Cooked and bending. Or raw and snapped in half. What is amazing, is that even now in high summer, mole rats manage to tunnel along, just below the surface. Leaving a ridge of friable soil. No problem.

January 2010 in flower at Elephant's Eye
From the top left - basil, salmon pelargonium, Tulbaghia, Pride of India
White pelargonium, Elizabeth of Glamis rose, Bulbine
Blue, then red sage, red pelargonium
Karoo rose, white plumbago, Abelia, Rose pelargonium, Pickerel weed
Brick red kalanchoe, Dianthus allwoodii, Dietes, lavender, Royal Cape plumbago

On 23rd December I brought you Christmas flowers in our garden. And I aim to do a collage each month. I may blend pictures from different years, but they will all be from that month, and in my garden. This will remind me what should be, is usually, in flower, now. To encourage a disheartened gardener, who is seeing the bare concrete, uh clay. The plants which are just resting now …

Photos and written by Diana of  Elephant's Eye 


  1. Lovely collage! I too have clay, but it rarely dries out to the concrete condition because of the fogs we get here in the summer. It's a problem for overwintering plants that don't appreciate cold wet soil, but it is handy for those that like it moist. Gradually I'm incorporating enough compost that quite a bit of the garden is now loam rather than just clay, but it's a challenge, so I also plant a lot of things that appreciate damp gardening conditions and moist soil.
    I could send you some snow to improve your moisture, if you'd like, if I could just figure out how to email it....

  2. Jodi - we are working on adding as much as possible of anything acceptable, mostly bales of straw, and some horse manure, plus kitchen waste, and everything that grows here, stay here. There is no garden 'waste'.

  3. Beautiul post!everytime I vist..so uplitfing! I love that photo-scene of the water..and bird..gorgeous little spot! Beautiful collages too!

  4. Your January is certainly more colorful than ours! Pelargoniums are one of my favorites. Thank you Diana for the shot of color!

  5. Loved your comment on the knitting! Thanks so much for stopping by! Lovely photos!

  6. Well YOU don't seem to have any trouble photographing red flowers successfully! I was reading in another post about how touchy that can be. Beautiful photos - I love your pond.

  7. Barbara - now you mention it. The salmon pelarg has come true, but the red one is in fact much more RED. Did follow Hank's advice and chose an overcast day, which makes a big difference!


Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
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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