22 July, 2011

Inspired by Ifafa lilies

Last Saturday we went across-our-valley-to-Riebeek, to a new nursery. I will show the plants as they find their new homes in our garden. First the Ifafa lilies. Two bags filled with LOTS of bulbs, so I split them gently. Planted four clumps ‘under’ our baby lime tree. Now I sit on my little chair like Charlie Brown – to watch them grow into an Elizabethan ruff of singing-canary yellow!

Ifafa lily

The Riebeek Valley is more up-market, more schicki micki than Porterville, which is a busy working town. Here we have some weekenders, there, the bread shop explain that they only sell fresh bread Friday evening and Saturday! As you drive around you see stately wine and olive estates. Houses with wonderful architecture, and interesting gardens. We’ve HAD NOT keeping up with Joneses, now we enjoy just getting on with ordinary life.

Cyrtanthus mackenii var cooperii

There is Corne Pretorius’ nursery in Riebeek West where we bought our Ifafa lilies.

Ifafa lilies with a baby lime tree

From PlantZAfrica – Cyrtanthus mackenii. In the Amaryllidaceae with daffodils. (White from southern Kwazulu-Natal), or our yellow var. cooperi from the eastern Eastern Cape. Flowers from July to February! Cyrtanthus curved flower. Mark McKen was the first curator of the Durban Botanic Garden in 1851. Lots of compost. Afternoon shade. Water year round. Lift and divide after 5 years.

Cyrtanthus mackenii

At Garden Bleu we bought a word for our garden. There are fluffy twee cute words – family friends love peace and happiness. I chose inspire. We have our word in the Paradise and Roses Garden. Where we take our tea-breaks. Inspire both in the sense of – breathe in – breathe out – take a break – have a Kit Kat! And in the second sense of inspiration – I lift my eyes to the quiet hills.

Inspired at Paradise and Roses

Lunch at Cafe Felix where we felt as if we had stepped into a quiet town in France, quite foreign to our prosaic reality in Harry Potterville.

Paradise and Roses Garden
Striped Tropical Sunset, white Great North roses
Mandela's Gold Strelitzia 

I have some roses which do need pruning. Also plum, apple and fig trees to work on.  Pots of bulbs and roses need watering as the rain is not showing up. Gravel paths need weeding. Exuberant plants need reining in, and then the bits go in. My Felicia prunings have their own blue flowers, already!

from Garden Bleu

PS As ever, we paid our way.

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. I love the colour of your chairs against the brickwork....the Ifafa lilies are simply gorgeous.

  2. Lovely Diana - the post, the Ifafa Lilies and "Inspire". It's a most fitting word to have chosen as your garden does Inspire - many, I am sure, and always me!

  3. How lovely and cheery.Love those yellow trumpets.Sounds like a great place to visit even if it is high class as we say. LOL!That is a great word to have in your garden. How cute Diana.Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Those lilies are so unusual and beautiful. I hope you will take pictures of stately wine and olive estates - I like that description, wish I could see them...

  5. Those lilies are such a bright and cheery yellow, they just scream sunshine!

  6. I love those words that have different meanings depending on which way you look at them, and that can take you different directions depending on the day. Enjoy being inspireD by those beautiful lilies. We're cheering your little lime tree on...

  7. Masha - I'll add your wishes to my mental list of 'What Shall I Blog?'

  8. I'm not a lily fan but I'd easily be inspired to nip over to South Africa to nick the iron chairs (especially ones with the arm rests. I'm only prevented by lack of funds from becoming an international criminal.


  9. I imagine the yuppies from CT stream through there on weekends.

  10. Hello Diana, as always I enjoyed your post, learned about plants I didn't know and saw wonderful pictures.
    I didn't know you also say schicki micki in English. ;-)
    Have a nice day

  11. I wanted to comment here on your blog just in case you miss my response - by the way, thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting!!!!
    It was my fault that I deleted the photos. It was my first time on google plus and my picassa showed up there and I thought it was all my pictures and thought they were public. I was wrong, but before I realized that, I deleted albums and they were the pics on my blogs. I had a senior moment when I did that and did not do my research on that very page before I got delete happy. So it was MY fault and not google plus. I am really enjoying google plus and have nothing but good to say about it so far.
    Now about your blog....I so enjoyed looking at the pictures and the reading. LOVE IT!!!!

  12. Elke - schicki micki is one of those German expressions I've brought home with me ;~)

    Laurie - I'm looking at Google+ ...

  13. love the collage of 4 photos of the lilies, they are very graceful and balletic. Inspire is a good word, I once was given a sculpted word - hope. It was going to be for the garden but i gave it to the Eating Disorders Foundation instead - I figured they needed it more than I did.

  14. The Ifafa Lilies I have not seen before, they do look very special. Strelitzia is a plant which I am looking out for, Myra just loves them, didn't realise there was a yellow, I have just seen them with orange flowers.

  15. Diana, The Ifafa lilies are a really lovely shade of yellow; they'll look wonderful blooming around your lime trees. And, like Alistair, I was drawn to the yellow bird of paradise in the last collage. I dream of growing one some day as a houseplant. -Jean

  16. I was "inspired" to go look up the lilies at my favorite bulb supplier online. They have the white subspecies but not yours, though they have lots of Cyrtanthus species in the red end of the spectrum. It's a lovely genus.

  17. I love the word, 'inspire' for your garden...so appropriate, so gently motivating...

  18. The Lilies are beautiful. If one has to choose a word...Inspire...it's a pretty good one.


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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