29 November, 2010

November flowers 2010

A fresh Advent wreath in 2014

Towards the 25th of each month I wander the garden. We have been away for a week. How disconcerting to see a difference, only a week, but the front path closes over.

Blue sage

The garden is declining into summer dormancy. It presents a much gentler, hazy blue picture now.
The rose garden is dominated by a tall mass of wild blue sage We have the season’s first Agapanthus, a Christmas flower for us in South Africa. A dusty carpet of plumbago’s sky blue for a wild annual Lobelia. Lavender. Deep purple bud coming on Streptocarpus. And another flash of sky blue on Tradescantia, a garden escapee from the Americas.

In a mellow blue mood

With a carpet of Plectranthus neochilus raising mauve spires. Pieces tucked in wherever there are gaps, when the soil was damp, last winter.

Plectranthus neochilus

I used to get an annual allocation of seeds from Kirstenbosch. Once I had this white wild chamomile. Lasiospermum bipinnatum. Grows by the roadside and on disturbed ground. Having nurtured those first seedlings, it is now graciously seeding itself around the garden, down the gravel driveway … (PS flora South Africa actually in the Acanthus family. Bear's Breeches? Simply called wild chamomile by the early settlers, because that is what they saw!)

Lasiospermum bipinnatum

The gentle blue is accompanied by equally gentle pinks. Some apple blossom. A handful of Pelargoniums. White Plumbago. Chironia baccifera has opened while we were away. Pink stars which look faded as it was heavily overcast this morning. The Dusty Millers are sending up too tall spikes of flowers, which keel over, and will need pruning later.

With gentle pinks

There are a few roses, with the next wave of buds swelling. A just pink Pearl of Bedfordview, a just yellow Peace, flashy Helpkids, Anna’s Red, and purple-edged mauve Burning Sky.

Five Roses (nobody makes better tea than you and Five Roses ;>)

The weirdest flower, which you wouldn’t believe if you didn’t see it, is the granadilla. The fruit is hanging in the wings, and sometimes startles us, as it lands with a ripe thud while we are sitting on the verandah.
Granadilla, or passion fruit

Pictures and words by Diana of Elephant's Eye   
(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. 
Those are my links)


  1. Very pretty Advent candles. And that was a very strange, yet interesting flower.

  2. Love your detailed posting Diana. We usually also have a great show with Agapanthus, flowering from late July through till September.The cooler climate probably prevents them from burning out too quickly. They don't flower well if planted directly in the ground, we plant them in containers and over winter them in the unheated greenhouse. Alistair

  3. Absolutely beautiful post--the color combinations are wonderful. I wish I knew how to make those collages. The flower on the plant Granadilla looks like our native passion flower vine which is called Maypop because it pop up suddenly in May. Carolyn

  4. Carolyn - the collages are using Picasa. There is a link in this post http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2010/09/blogging-tools-i-use-1-5-garnished-with.html Those collages get addictive. I like to show - the plant - the leaf - the flower - the habitat. Makes for a good plant portrait. And I can cheat by packing in more photos ;>)

  5. Nice to see summer on the other side of the world - a sharp contrast to our freezing weather. Passion flowers are beautiful but strange - they look unreal to me - constructions rather than living flowers. I lost mine in our severe winter last year and I must get another.

  6. I did not know plumbago came in white. It was only a month ago I had blue flowers and bright red foliage on my plumbago. Lovely photos Diana.

  7. Diana, I too have been away for a week and came back to the damage from our first freeze. I was in the mountains of Big Bend National Park and was reminded of your blog header several times as we gazed at the mountains! Now reading through your post, I'm reminded of my summer garden...we share a lot of the same plants. Your mosaics and the advent wreath are beautiful - I love the muted colors.

  8. Your Advent candles look so pretty as do your blooms. I love the flowers of the Passion vines. That variegated rose is gorgeous!
    Have a wonderful week.

  9. At first I thought your passion fruit plant was the very same as our native passion fruit, passiflora incarnata, also called maypop. However, the leaves are different, but surely it's a cousin!

    I love all your blues, and also your roses! Thanks, too, for the lovely advent music!

  10. Lovely advent arrangement Diana! The words to that prayer are wonderful too, especially poignant as I will be travelling to Jhb this christmas to spend time with my mother and brothers.

  11. Oh, it's one of those years. I remember how upset I was as a child when first of Advent was in November. That meant that Christmas was still sooooo far away. (My mother usually consoled us with cookies, though, so I didn't mind that much).

  12. Good to hear from you again and what a lovely passionflower!

  13. Your pictures are beautiful! That why we displayed the advent wreath, it's so adorable and special! For us (here in Europe) advent in South Africa is very exotic. And your idea with this flowers in the wreath is genial! Thanks for it!
    (Did you understand anything int this hungarian blog? Did you use a translator? :):)) We wrote a little about you, that you live in South Africa, and you could made "some advent feeling" in the hot wheather.
    Barbara, from http://érezdmagadotthon.hu/unnep/advent/adventi-koszoru.html

  14. Barb in Hungary - have left a comment back on your post with 4 Hungarian words that were too much for the machine to translate ;>)

  15. Hi !!!
    Great post, I love your beautiful flowers and I love the end of your post with the candles.
    Have a great day.

  16. It's so hot where I live that I have to work to grow any chamomile, it definitely doesn't grow wild. The passionflower you mention is native to my area though, at least Passiflora incarnata is. I rescued some wild ones from a construction site near my house and they're still growing for me 8 years later. Lovely photos!

  17. I think passion fruit flowers are one of my all time favorites, such a sculptural flower

  18. Eliza - added a PS with a link to eliminate any confusion. Wild chamomile is just one, on a long list of plants, called wild ... by the early settlers, because it reminded them of something familiar at home in Europe.

  19. Thanks again for the photo for V&F. I love all your flowers. You live in a very special area.

  20. Your photo of the Passion flower is just gorgeous. I also love the fruit, with it's orange, tangy-sweet flavor. I grew up in Taiwan where this vine was commonly grown and the juice was a refreshing summer treat - especially when served over shaved ice - delish!


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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