26 May, 2010


May in our garden is about two things. First the rain has brought BULBS bursting thru everywhere you look. Quite literally millions of Oxalis pes-caprae, wherever someone else didn't get in there first! If you've read here before, then you know I love foliage. Half my bulbs are chosen for their leaves, and the flowers are just a lovely bonus.

Top left - Haemanthus, bottom right - Brunsvigia, with pine cones to keep my big feet off the tiny leaves. These should ultimately give me a pair of large leaves, flat on the ground. Imagine a generously opened pair of hands. Top right is the March lily I brought with us from the first garden. They have sulked, since being moved, but with this year's leaves, hoping for flowers next March. And the beautiful twirly blue-green leaves are Boophane. March lilies are done flowering, Oxalis is just starting, and the whole spectrum of the rest, is yet to come. I LOVE bulbs. Especially our South African ones. But the species please, not the terrifying horticultural freaks.

Now I have them side by side, left - the darker fan is Watsonia, right - the golden sheaf is yellow Chasmanthe. Bottom left is Tulbaghia, the oh so quaintly named 'society' garlic. Bottom right another gorgeous glossy leaf, with a ruffled edge, is Veltheimia.

This, which makes the camera run off shrieking, you EITHER have the deep red rose, OR the white pelargonium. So beautiful to the merely human eye, and so hard on the electronic one. (Thank you to my Ungardener to getting me this) The first thing you see, as you turn the corner at the garage, heading for the front door. And across that path is pale pink Perfume Passion rose. Was supposed to grow shortish, but is now graciously offering its blooms at nose level. My nose level!

We almost always have some roses.Top left - Tropical Sunset, which matures to the dusty pink on the top right. Bottom left - Karoo rose, which is a raspberry/watermelon colour hard to capture, but a joy to see. And bottom right is Germiston Gold, this bush is covered with flowers, and more buds coming.

And the second May thing in the garden is COLOUR. We have lots of flowering shrubs, most of which are currently covered in eye-watering sheets of colour. I'm thinking the pink/red sage I inherited from my mother's garden is probably greggei. Another colour that made the camera have a hissy fit, leaving neon pink haz chem holes in our pictures. This attempt has come true to life, after how many foiled attempts. A few South African daisies. Bottom right is more of a garden marguerite from a neighbour. Singing Haz chem pink again.

Pink is Phyllis van Heerden. Yellow, apricot/sunset, and Big Red are all Tecomaria. A humming mass of bees, and the sunbirds are here too, after they have been to the aloes, and the sage.

Pink and apricot pelargoniums. Top left - white Hypoestes (ribbon bush, for the curls) usually a pinky-mauve. Bottom right - soft pink Barleria (April Violets) with unopened buds in apricot.

We close with a filigree shadow on a rose geranium. Once upon a time, thirty years ago I grew this from seed for Friends of Kirstenbosch. And does that plant ever grow!

Photos by Jurg and Diana, words by Diana of Elephant's Eye


  1. Oh my, you've got a lot of color going into winter there! Can't grow watsonia here, but I love seeing yours :)

  2. Lovely post Diana, your roses are especially beautiful.

  3. I like the roses very much and I didn't know that there are roses that change colour.

  4. I've just been catching up on your blog and love the progression photos of your garden in the last post. And with todays colors and foliage you have given us the close ups of the garden. Very beautiful.

  5. Hi Diana..always a treat visiting your space...what gorgeous blooms..so very beautiful!! Thanks for letting me know about the blu post..yay..!I will be bakc to enjoy your post!! Fantastic!


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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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