10 January, 2011

January garden walk 2011

The last blog walk was in November. Everything is, either brown dying dead, or taking over and needs hacking back, and we are all wilted and thirsty waiting for autumn. But the joy of a blog is that I can use the camera to see the garden thru other eyes. If you would walk with me thru our garden today, this is what you would see. The really messy bits you can fill in for yourself.

Pride of India and olive trees

Sunday our Pride of India (which comes from China) burst into flower, it seems overnight! The lightly espaliered olive trees are growing steadily on this, the shady side. Sadly the four on the sunny side are dwindling.

First corner of the house

Crunch down the gravel driveway to the corner of the house. Thanks to shade from our neighbour’s trees and the giant/Spanish reeds this bit is green and lush. Needs constant nibbling to keep the path to the front door open.

Down the path to the front door

Elephant's Eye Light Railway hasn’t seen a train in ages. Apple Creek has to be kept filled with water for the plants and frogs who are waiting to get their pond back. Making this another exuberant green corner, bulrushes, papyrus and all the happy plants with their roots reaching to the water.

Elephant's Eye Light Railway
with Apple Creek behind

The Karoo Koppie has a few bald patches, but mostly it has achieved a satisfying mix of colours and textures. Pig’s ears and spears, wine-red blue silver and true green, large sculptural and tiny, bordered with burgundy, or lemon and avocado stripes.

Karoo Koppie

Walk alongside the work-in-progress pond, and the trees which were once seedlings in yoghurt bakkies now stand with dignity above call-yourself-a-tree sneers.

Path beside the pond

Paradise (which I just read was enclosed to keep the animals for hunting IN, MINE!) our rose garden has buds coming. Hanging in there until the autumn flush, but this is still a lovely place to sit once the midday sun has passed. Too hot for breakfast.

Paradise, rose garden

We often see a cloudless sky, with one or two marshmallows bowling along just behind our mountain. Which is disappearing steadily behind the trees we planted to shield us from neighbour’s windows and washing lines.

Olifantskop from our verandah

On the garden walk day I try not to zoom in on detail. But I can’t resist.

By March we can start planting, redoing the beds that don’t work, and there will be roses again.

Pictures and words by Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville South Africa   

(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. 
Those are my links)


  1. thanks Diana, sooo nice to stroll in some heat with some flowers even if only virtually :o) Frances

  2. This was a garden walk I was sorely in need of. Elephant's Eye Light Railway brought a smile, I ooooed and ahhhed over the lush pink of the Prid of India and olive trees and found the textures in the Paradise and rose garden very much to my liking. As for the details...this is what fascinates me most...the ridges, paths, patterns, colors,and tiny hairs not seen without a close-up view. I'm ready for a bit of tea, now.

  3. Wow !!! You got a train in your garden. That's great.
    Can I take a ride on, and go around your beautiful garden ?

  4. Frances - the Ungardener said next time he'll do the pictures, with BLUE sky and SUN ;>)

    Teresa - hope the flu leaves you soon!

  5. Your garden looks so lush for this time of year Diana. The only things 'blooming' here are lichen and moss!

  6. The first time I have seen your garden--so fun. Here we sit in the mid-Atlantic waiting for the next snow storm due tonight or tomorrow and there you are in South Africa with plants melting in the heat.

  7. I could feel the heat and see the sun in my eyes...what a glorious walk...lovely lush gardens...can't wait to see them in other seasons!!! So different from my world

  8. So different - and yet - yours are brown with frost, and ours are toasted by the sun - we wait together ...

  9. The blooming olives trees remind me so much of the crepe myrtles in our area. I love your railway line. Perhaps you can write more about that one day.

  10. Lifeshighway - I have made 'Elephant's Eye Light Railway' a link back to an earlier post. Pride of India is, I think, what you call crepe myrtle. Common or garden tree/shrub with flaky peeling shiny bark, just as attractive as its flowers!

  11. Diana, Maybe it's because my local landscape colors are so subdued at this time of year, but I'm very taken with the pink blooms of the Pride of India. I can see why the Indians wanted to claim it, even if it is from China. :-) -Jean

  12. Jean - it is that plant collector thing - India/ China, it is all in the East. Lily of the Nile, it is all in Africa. Takes a long long long time to sort out the geography ;>)

  13. Great walk! your garden looks amazing as always

  14. I really enjoy the garden strolls, I can feel the warmth through my monitor, which is much appreciated since my thermometer is sitting at -20 and covered in snow. Pride of India is gorgeous. :)

  15. What a fun walk! Love the succulents, especially, of course, pig's ear ;->


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.

Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
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