26 August, 2010

Winter August flowering into Spring

What flowers are in our garden in August? Still winter, but we have had rain and the winter snow grows as I watch. Sometimes in quiet horror. That handful of gravel is all you can still see of this path, which is next on the list for weeding and cutting back. For clearing, so the cats can still get thru. They make it quite obvious when they are not satisfied with their garden service.

In our kind and temperate climate, mid-winter rolling into Spring Day on the 1st September, the ash trees are already covered in fresh lime green leaves, luminous against the blue mountains in the distance. That white marguerite daisy has pretensions of becoming A Tree next year. Covered in flowers and buds.

I pruned the roses at the beginning of August. They have russet bunches of healthy new leaves, fat buds, and the first generous flowers are coming. We have a rolling wall of self sown nasturtiums around the gravel turning space outside the garage.

I love bulbs. Freesias are coming into bloom and I bring the best pot into the living-room, where the fragrance wafts over me in the evening. Lemon yellow and pink striped Oxalis, with friend thanks to my new Canon. Tulbaghia. Orange and yellow Chasmanthe which have such large heavy flower heads that the plants keep keeling over. Should have planted them deeper.

We’ve done the august-daisy-chain-walk blooming their little hearts out. An earlier generation of naturalists would pull out a magnifying glass, we use the macro and gaze in wonder at the details that emerge on the computer screen. Little lives lived out beneath our unknowing gaze.

On our Karoo Koppie most of the aloes have faded, but the next wave of flowers is coming. Burnt orange Cotyledon orbiculata for the sunbirds. Euphorbia mauretanica bought for these magnificent lime green flowers, sulked in the rose garden, too hot. Was moved here, then sulked some more, Because You Moved Me. But now at last I have the flowers I was waiting for. Crassula called Pink Joy. And Lampranthus in yellow and yellow and pink (and purple and white and red, but not here).

Indigenous sage. Burnt orange Salvia africana-lutea, and a very soft and gentle pinky-mauve Salvia dolomitica.

Turn to Paradise, the rose garden. Begin at the dark side. Autumn Fire. Red colours. Prunus nigra planted for the dark leaves, is doing Lighten our Darkness. Scarlet pelargonium flames in the darkness.

Then to Spring Promise. Any colour, so long as it is pink. Lavender Jade miniature rose coming into bloom.

And Winter Chill. With yet another of my favourite pelargoniums. Nutmeg scented. Someone was looking for a pelargonium with a leaf like gingko? Pelargonium fragrans 'Nutmeg'  

And ending with Summer’s Gold. Yellow Dimorphotheca jucunda. A Tropical Sunset striped rose.

It is green. There is lots of colour and it is growing like mad. Ungardening Pond is holding water and the wagtails are delighted to be able to putter along the shore foraging for dinner. The raucous toad is honking in my ear.

As most of my plants are indigenous to South Africa, except the obvious (roses, lavender, nasturtiums, ash trees, flowering plum and marguerite daisies) this is my bit for Gail at Clay and Limestone who does a Wildflower-Wednesday

Pictures and words by Diana of Elephant's Eye 


  1. Wonderful! It looks like your garden is leaning more towards spring than winter :D
    So many interesting blooms, Diana. You seem to have more than your fair share of lovely native plants.

  2. Diana, The soft greens of spring are my favorite greens~How delightful to stroll with the cats on your paths to view this marvelous collection~I love saying Karoo Koppie and think it must be a lovely spot in your garden. I so agree with Sunita~what wonderful and beautiful plants your country and continent have given us~gail

  3. Such a rainbow of blooms, Diana! It's so cool to see things we grow as annuals or houseplants here, blooming wild for you in South Africa. As always, such a delight to take a trip and never leave my office! You've done a lot of work putting this post together, and I'm glad that someone besides me is doing it on Thursday (you for time zone purposes, me just because I'm late coming to the party.)

  4. What a delight to see a different season and all the lovely blooms you have! We are just finishing a very hot and humid summer, so it's so refreshing to see the spring blooms. You have a beautiful garden.

  5. Looks like you're in for a wonderful spring! I love your flowers -- especially the South African natives. We grow so many of their hybridized cousins over here. But I've not seen anything like those lovely salvias. I love reading your posts about the approaching spring, just when I have about had it with the endless summer over here. Cheers!

  6. Such a beautiful selection of blooms Diana. The burnt orange sage is very interesting, almost a hint at fall colors in the spring. I can really see the resemblance to Ginko in that Pelargonium leaf too.

  7. Hi Diana, not only is your garden gorgeous, your blog post is as always beautifully crafted and a joy to behold. I envy you heading for spring, now that the first taste of fall is in the air here in northern Europe. I have a nasturtium on my patio that planted itself into a pot meant for marigolds. Have no idea how it got there, but it's definitely taking over. Your striped rose in those gentle colors is beautiful.

  8. It is really interesting to hear someone going through a season in a schedule different from what I know. I remember talking to a friend who lived in Zimbabwe and thinking that she was messed up in her naming the seasons. It turned out I was wrong!

    You have a beautiful garden!

  9. Hello Diana,

    One of my favorite sights in the garden is the bright green color of new spring leaves. Your pictures capture this perfectly.

    I am getting ready to sow nasturtiums in my vegetable garden :-)

  10. The pictures in the top collage are so beautiful my face goes tingly.


  11. Dear Diana I love the plant palette, the images and the way you have written this up in so lyrical a manner. Lovely indeed.

  12. Diana, things are so bright and lovely in your garden. I love the colourful collages that you have created in this post.

  13. Diana, This really brings home to me just how kind and temperate your climate is -- all those beautiful flowers blooming in "winter"! -Jean

  14. Congrats on the new camera, your pics are awesome, aren't collages fun?! Diana, this is my favorite post from you! Granted I'm rather new to blotanical, but I quite enjoyed your thoughts and your point of view. Reading blogs from around the world has opened my eyes in many ways, but I especially enjoy the consideration that we are all not in the same season. It's actually rather refreshing!

  15. It's kind of surreal to read that you have winter, when our summer is gently fading away...

    Beautiful shots, gorgeous words.

    You asked about the bottles of water, and were worried about the recycling of them. We don't use bottled water, and have not for years. But White Rock has a great recycling program, and there are many people boiling their water also.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  16. Those macros are exquisite! I especially love the one in the upper right hand corner. Really lovely, as is the entire post.

    Something that strikes me about many gardens in Mediterranean-ish climates is how wonderful the textures are. I'm beginning to think of them as the noble, unsung heroes of the garden. I love the bed in the "Spring Promise" section for the wonderful combination of textures and colors!

  17. so glad you have the ash tree with its fresh lime-green leaves, we call her the fair maiden of the woodland...

  18. Hello Diana - it's been such a pleasure dropping by and seeing your garden spring into flower just as we are ending. So many great shots with your new camera to comment on individually but I have a particular yen for the Nutmeg pelargonium.


  19. Everything looks so lush and green. It is always so interesting to see what is flowering in different climates and on the other side of the world! Wonderful pictures from your garden!
    All the best.
    Ingrid x

  20. It's amazing to see the diversity of blooms and colors in your climate, which is quite different from ours in Southern California. The nasturtiums look especially lovely and familiar though, as I also grow them in my herb garden, not only for their looks but also as a peppery, piquant addition to the humble, homegrown salad.

  21. What a plethora of wildlings in your garden. Along with the spring weather I bet your spirit soars with delight.

  22. Hallo aus Texas!
    Ich lese ein Bisschen Deutsch, und es freut mich Deine Garten zu finden.
    This is my first visit to your South African garden and it looks wonderful!
    I will visit again. Thanks for all the flower pics. I don't know a lot about South African gardening except that you have a tremendous diversity of species on the Cape. I hope to learn more.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston, Texas



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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