11 February, 2011

February walking in our garden

Macros enchant me, because the camera and I agree on what we are looking at.  This year I will do the indigenous=native with Gail at clayandlimestone for her Wildflower Wednesday. Remember the 23rd February if you follow this meme.   And the commonorgarden=exotic=alien will be in these mid-month walks. Roses, kitchen herbs, fruit trees, inherited plants, zone denial, and I just couldn't resist that!

From the outside, looking in

To the left the inherited mountain ash trees, to the right our neighbour’s invasive er Tibouchina? But peering over the wall are the many indigenous trees and shrubs the Ungardener has planted, and watered, and watered for us. Quite a green look for mid-February, high summer, no rain for six weeks.

Pecan with Stand by to repel boarders!

I remember Nell-Jean once wrote that the very best shade is under a pecan tree. Ours is halfway down the driveway, so we just pause to gawp when walking up or down. The mask is from the Ungardener’s travelling days, in Indonesia. There to ward off intruders.

Japanese maple, Prunus nigra
Pride of India, Australian brush cherry

I have two Japanese maples, this one in a pot, with a wall protecting it from the force of the afternoon sun. The Prunus nigra for the dark brooding presence of its dark leaves. Still flowers on the Pride of India, and MASSES of fruit on the Australian brush cherry.

Beware Nandina

Beware of the cat. And of the invasive alien. Nandina. But it is one of the few plants I have that turns colour in the autumn. One of the few with berries. I must seek out a South African plant with fruit for the birds.

Coleonema, Santolina, Southernwood
Tickey creeper, potted bulbs

Have been hit with zone denial for Lamb’s Ears. First I didn’t realise it should be in the shade. And our hot summers – yes it has grey leaves, but lettuce not leather! My best grey foliage is Santolina, cotton lavender. Behind it, South Africa’s Coleonema. My most fragrant plant is what my mother call’s Southernwood, Lad’s Love, and it smells gloriously of lemons. Tickey creeper, Ficus, is slowly getting going. The potted bulbs are shown here, because ditsy Diana has been trying to grow snowdrops.

My view

If the cats are not hogging the Adirondacks, this is my view out of the garden. Hoping for rain. With a South African karee.

Liriope, Mare's tail
Blue fescue, zebra grass

I do love grasses. Mine are not fancy named new varieties, but alien species. Liriope, Mare’s Tails, blue Fescue and Zebra grass.

This year, we have apples

Neither the Ungardener who waters, not the Gardener who prunes, have any idea why, but this year, we have Apples!

Anna's Red, Germiston Gold
Chaim Soutine, Papa Meilland

The roses are either not-resting-brown-dead, or autumn-is-coming-sprouting! Anna’s Red, Germiston Gold, Chaim Soutine and Papa Meilland.

Lady in waiting

While we are all waiting for the pond to hold water again – bees fly into the kitchen to complain and drink in the kitchen sink. The birds have learnt to use the new birdbath we bought for them. The water lily is happily biding its time in the baby bath.

Pictures and words
by Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville, 
near Cape Town in South Africa   
(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. 
Those are my links)


  1. Diana, your garden looks beautiful! And those apples ... well they actually look too good to eat! Thanks for sharing your lovely garden with us all.

  2. It's hard to imagine growing things right now, but it's sure nice to things are growing fine and pretty. Ack...lamb's ears, invasive little softies around here, but worth the trouble.

  3. I enjoyed the walk through your summer garden! So beautiful! The view of the mountain is stunning. I can feel the heat, but if those clouds were here in the southeast USA, they would be bringing a late afternoon thunderstorm!

    I spent part of today pulling out more nandina from my woodland garden. Are they truly invasive in your area? I do hate that I have to do this. The thing I miss most about them is the color, as well as the berries. I am trying to find replacements that will provide a colorful effect. All green is dull! I am considering planting some of the non-fruiting nandina, which are not invasive. They aren't native and they don't have berries, but they do have gorgeous leaves. I will have other shrubs which are native and provide fruit for the wildlife. Changes are coming!

  4. Hello Diana, so glad you have apples, the rosa Papa Meilland is the only rose name I recognise, to shade under a pecan tree..one can only dream of this over here in England..

  5. Deb- I don't think Nandina is invasive in South Africa, but we have water hyacinth and Port Jackson willow and pine trees and Paterson's Curse and ...

  6. Diana, thanks for linking to my snowdrop post. Have you actually gotten them to grow? I thought they needed a cold period. Carolyn

  7. Carolyn - my mother's snowdrops were far happier when they lived in her Camps Bay garden, with the sea a few houses away. There they made flowers. Here in Porterville ... I am afraid to see if there are still bulbs in the pot ...

  8. Diana I so love coming to visit in your garden that is so different than mine...it is so lovely and I can feel the heat of summer through those wonderful pictures...those apples look so delicious too...I plan to join Gail this month too but will only have a montage of plants to share since we will see no natives for at least 6-8 weeks

  9. Now, that is a lovely place. What a beautiful setting!

  10. About the Old Man's Beard - I use that name (and Traveller's Joy) for wild clematis . . . but that doesn't smell lemony (at least, I don't think it does) so maybe we are using the same name for different plants?


  11. Great pictures and congratulations on your apples. :-)
    Summer is about to start here, I think. Hopefully no more La Nina phenomenon. While your roses and plants seem to thrive in the sun, I am afraid some of my more delicate plants will wither in the heat.

  12. Sorry Esther, have put in a link to Southernwood. Just me getting confused again. And yes, Traveller's Joy is a name I love for Clematis. Altho our Clematis is battling.

    Bom - I haven't SHOWN you the plants that whispered - it is - hot - here - before they crumpled in a brown heap. Now what shall we plant here, when autumn arrives?

  13. Oh so lovely! My garden is just a dry desert!

  14. must get one of those 'beware of the cat' signs for our cat! not the friendliest to strangers.

  15. Stone Art - 'Beware of the cat' came from a small town in the North of England. Along with two tiny pigs and a pair of candlesticks.

  16. It is such a relief to see a conscientious gardener like yourself growing plants like nandina. I try to stay with natives when possible, but sometimes you just fall in love, and that's that. Hope the slightly shorter days are giving you some respite from the heat so you can enjoy that lovely oasis of yours!

  17. Just in case you were still wondering...

  18. Apples! They look very tasty. Looks like you have lots of good growing in your garden. Mine is very much asleep. (It was fun mousing over your brown links just to make them shriek.)

  19. You have such a great garden. Wish I had so many trees and shrubs in mine. Its something I need to get into it.

  20. Firefly - You know what they say - the best time to plant a tree is now ...


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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