12 July, 2011

July in our garden

We live in a mediterranean climate 33 degrees South.

Courvoisier, Peace
Germiston Gold

Today I look only at the commonorgarden foreign exotic plants.

Great North
and pink Pearl of Bedfordview

Black Prince, Perfume Passion
Chaim Soutine, Dainty Bess

Duftwolke, Burning Sky
Alec's Red, Karoo Rose 

When I looked out this morning the ash trees are covered in a soft mauve haze. Flower buds. Even the first few of next season’s fresh green leaves. The deciduous trees from the northern hemisphere, in this gentle winter, simply use the new leaves to push off the old. Bare branches is our very briefest season. Blink, and it was gone.

Mountain ash flowers

The Japanese flowering quince is having a quiet winter. That and the yellow winter flowering Chinese jasmine came with the land. The white marguerite daisy looked so – not long for this world in summer. Now the bush is as wide as I am tall and the first flowers are opening.

Japanese flowering quince (coral)
yellow Chinese winter Jasmine
white marguerite daisy

Our exotic foreigners include lavender and basil. Pineapple sage and Salvia greggei which give the camera a migraine.

Lavender, pineapple sage
electric pink Salvia greggei 

On Saturday we worked hard in the garden. I stood on the verandah and said – up a bit, bit more, no the one to the left. The four Searsia/Rhus trees we planted are steadily climbing and spreading to obscure our mountain view.

Before we pruned the Searsia/Rhus 

And he used our new telescopic parrot. Very cheap (WHY??) and cuts quite thick branches like butter. The pecan tree was too big, 5 years ago when we bought the plot, and has now reached its sell by date. But that we must have removed by the pros.

After we pruned the Searsia/Rhus 

b-a-g experiments-with-plants said – 'the difference is that when we stand up, you see two snow-capped mountains and I see suburbia'. Ah no – to see the snowcaps we need to drive a little, so the foothills no longer obscure the mountains. When I stand, I see, from our panhandle plot, 9 neighbours. Usually they are manicured out of the photos, but today I have left a few walls and roofs, so you can see, we do, live in town. Non-collage for Alistair in Aberdeen who doesn’t like collages, but then you would have scrolled thru 31 pictures?

Olifantskop from the Paradise And Roses garden

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. Amazing how wonderful your garden looks and how much is flowering for you! Stunning!

  2. That actually sounds fun what you are planning in your yard. Everything takes time....a prune here, a tree cut down...it's amazing the things we have to do to create and keep our little paradise. Your pics are beautiful. I like the closeups of the roses...especially the yellow. Do you still get pecans?

  3. Hi Diana.

    I opened my list of favourite blogs on Blotanical and this post was at the top of the list - with 914 picks. I know your posts are popular but what kind of mega one could this be? When I clicked through, it wouldn't come up at all (though I was invited to be the first to pick it!).

    I thought I'd tell you so you can enjoy the 914 before they evaporate (as the post seems to have done!)

    Houses in pictures . . . I don't like to show houses in mine either. I get the camera into all sorts of odd angles to keep them out of the frame. It might be different if they (including our own) looked nicer than they do but I don't think so. It's just that it feels more comfortable not to be suburban. However, in the photo where you allow your neighbour's house to be seen, it looks such a friendly scene I know I am wrong.


  4. Rohrerbot - yes we're still harvesting this crop of pecans. More are hanging HIGH on the tree.

    Esther and Nell Jean - those nine hundred picks have glitched away - I see 8 hearts from 2 kind pickers!

  5. beautiful,, just wonderful,, your roses are stunning,, i still am amazed at what you grow there,

  6. Wonderful garden...you have manicured it nicely. No matter what your photos of your garden are lovely...even with the far off backdrop of those lovely mountains.

  7. To think I went through years and years when I thought the only way to prune roses was the way you detest! Somehow the roses in nature seem to manage to survive without the abuse...

  8. Such an amazing variety of trees and plants you can grow there. The Roses are fab. Amazing the difference between Winters in different parts of the world.

  9. I am amazed at the amount of flowers around this time of year. But we live in sunny South Africa after all.

  10. deepest, darkest, winter? don't think so...

  11. Dainty Bess looks like a real winner! A quick Google search has increased my intrigue! Will never tire of seeing Quince in flower, wonderful.


  12. Diana - Thanks for giving us a glimpse of the neighbourhood. It's good to know that you're not alone out there, with just the mountains for company. Coincidentally, I inherited Chinese jasmine and Japanese quince too. Now (in the UK) they are nothing much to look at, but your photos bring back happy memories from a few months ago.

  13. I love what Esther says about the photos with the houses in them looking so friendly. I always try to edit houses out, too, except for sunsets, when it's not possible. But seeing how lovely your no-house "after" photos are, I wonder if maybe they're even more so since you were kind enough to show us their context, and what a tucked-away paradise you've created.

  14. b-a-g and Stacy - I realised from scattered comments that - The Camera Always Lies - was turning into - Elephant's Eye is no small garden in town. It's a weird feeling to walk around the real garden seeing it overlaid with the images the comments show.

  15. You're so fortunate to have a brief bare branch season. I agree, if the roses are blooming, how could anyone stand to prune them!?

  16. I enjoyed the overview of your garden. You did a great job pruning the trees. I LOVE pruning, definitely my favorite garden chore. Done correctly, it is good for the plant and can make a huge improvement in its appearance and relationship to other plants and the view. Your garden is a special place. You may live in a town, but it does not look like typical American suburbia!

  17. Deb - our neighbours would agree with you - those crazy English with their WEEDS and WILDLIFE, but then they love the birds and the pond and the view of the mountain!

  18. I love your roses, Diana. I can't imagine pruning back plants while they're in bloom. I hate to miss a single bloom; if I cut one off, it's because I'm bringing it inside to enjoy in the house. -Jean

  19. You have a beautiful garden and extraordinary views! Your roses are gorgeous too. I wonder if you really have to prune them in winter, some rosarians I know in South California let their roses bloom through the winter and prune them in summer when it is really hot and the roses are resting...

  20. Masha - that sounds eminently more sensible. But they say, pruning stimulates growth? I have to catch them as the season turns from summer to autumn. Got a blog or website link to Californian rose pruning in summer for us?

  21. Your garden looks fabulous! So many beautiful flowers in bloom. And the roses are lovely :)

  22. Beautiful Photo's,
    you have a wonderful garden!

  23. I just love your garden. It doesn't stop flowering!!! It keeps amazing me.


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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