26 July, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday with July weather

Fact is stranger than fiction. Beautiful mediterranean winter day here. Blue sky and the cat sitting in my shade. We are in the eye of the storm. The country around us has rain. And snow!! The national road between Cape Town and Johannesburg was closed by snow, and so was the second route. Meanwhile our Swartland wheat farmers wait for rain. We’ve had no rain since the 2nd of July, and this should be a heavy winter rain month.

Kniphofia fading to yellow

This Kniphofia red hot poker was bought as yellow. Above two weeks ago, below today as the older flowers fade to yellow. Hmmph!

Winter bulbs in South Africa

Everywhere is an undercarpet of lime yellow Oxalis pes-capraeArum lilies Zantedeschia aethiopica in the Paradise and Roses Garden. Little clumps of mauve Tulbaghia, and pots of deepest red Lachenalia rubida, and the Freesia alba bowing down under the weight of buds.

Succulents on the Karoo Koppie
and the Hedge Fund

The Karoo Koppie still gives an impression of yellow (fading aloes, Oxalis and Bulbinella) and red and orange aloes and plakkies =  Cotyledon orbiculata. At the washing lines our Hedge Fund of Crassula ovata Pink Joy jade plant, is covered with a shawl of tiny blush pink flowers with stamens in raspberry and violet.

White daisy with butterfly

The white Dimorphotheca jucunda flowers are all looking ratty but they still draw butterflies.

South African daisies in winter July

We have yellow Euryops and Chrysanthemoides monilifera = bietou.  Gazanias in yellow and cream. Dimorphotheca jucunda in deep purple flecked with shadows from the tall green grass we grow for the weavers to build their nests with. Finally the true blue kingfisher daisy Felicia – this way to Happiness.

Tecomaria capensis

Tecomaria capensis lutea in yellow, a ‘sunset’ variety in yellow and orange, and Big Red.

Nectar thief left slits in Tecomaria flower

In the University of the Blogosphere I read about nectar robbers. And behold on my computer screen – are the slits in the tubes, left by our nectar thieves.


Pelargoniums in pink, white and salmon. Red is a bit slow.

Strelitzia regina and Salvia africana-lutea

Strelitzia regina, above the Mandela’s Gold, below the original species. It is hard in a garden view, to show the gentle difference in the colours. To the right the only indigenous sage blooming. Salvia africana-lutea = Strandsalie beloved by FaroutFlora in SF California.

Winter colour with July shrubs and smalls

Feathery white knoffelboegoe, garlic buchu (with Riversdale memories). Purple ribbon bush Hypoestes. Lavender coloured but fiercely scented Plectranthus neochilus = muishondblaar. Tiny pink (weedy) wildflower? Grewia occidentalis cross berry with star shaped pink flowers on a small tree. Fragrant jasmine at the bedroom window.

Most pictures were taken today, some from two weeks ago, but I gather together all South African native/indigenous/wild flowers from my garden for Wildflower Wednesday.

Pictures by Diana and Jurg,
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. Can't believe your Hypoestes and Grewia are still flowering, mine stopped weeks ago. My Salvia africana-lutea is however looking stunning. Love the bit about nectar robbers - will inspect the flowers more closely from now on. Beautiful pic's as always. The lack of rain is worrying - apparently we should get some on Thursday. Finger's crossed.

  2. Hypoestes is just getting in its stride, was the very last Grewia flower. And I only noticed the first of the Salvia when the camera was looking at the garden.

  3. Diana - Saw some amazing wildflowers on the way to, and at the farm last weekend. Sorry, I don't know their names. Also, our aloes were in perfect harmony - all 9 plants were in flower - yellow and orange - a truly beautiful sight.

    I tried to take a photo of the mountains behind Riviersonderend for you, but it was just too misty. Pity, because the fields were so amazingly green and the mountains such a deep, deep blue. Stunning!

  4. wow,, so mucg beautify all in one garden,, amzing photos,, we have so much just green here I love to see your photos!!

  5. This nectar robbing business is fascinating! Breaking & entering, bee style! I’m keen on those daisies but struck by how unlike your winter is to the ones I know. Daisies flower in summer, right?


  6. How I wish we had flowers in the depths of winter!
    Jane x

  7. Bertie - sometimes it feels as if the end of summer is our winter, when the plants are resting, or giving up.

  8. Absolutely amazing. No wonder I hear South Africa is a horticultural wonder land. And this in winter!

  9. So much blooming in your winter! And nectar robbers, too! I haven't looked for them here, but that might be a good project to do one day. Sorry about the rain situation. Such an odd year worldwide for the climate, it seems.

  10. I was going to wish you rain, but with the intensity of the storms around you, maybe it would be better to wait on those wishes for a few days. Is anyone on the planet having a "normal" year for weather?

  11. You have so much blooming in your garden now! One of my kniphofia bloomed early and the others haven't made an appearance this year. Yours look great.

  12. Overseas visitors are always in awe about all the flowers we have flowering in winter. We truly are fortunate here in South Africa

  13. Lovely wildflowers in bloom. I saw a report about the snow in South Africa and wondered if it was near you.

  14. Glorious - the flowers, not the strange weather patterns, which appear to becoming a regular feature across the globe. Mind you, with the rich S.A. flora providing so many garden and tender "exotic" plants here in the UK, it is strange to see things that cost a bomb at the garden centre on your blog as wildflowers! All hail the wonders to international blogging.

  15. I enjoyed seeing all your exotic beauties today. To be honest most of them other than the Red Hot Poker are new to me. I liked your mosiacs. :)

  16. Wow !!! So much flowers and they are all amazing. Great shot. Bravo.

  17. You have a rainbow of beautiful flowers there! Your collages are wonderful!

  18. Diana, I love Kniphofia and see that it really does look its very best in a native setting. So true for many native plants~Hoping the rains return to my garden sometime soon. Happy WW!

  19. You were one of the first people that came to my mind when I heard about the snow from an FB friend from SA. I'm glad to see that your garden was not adversely affected and looks as lush as ever. The weather patterns are indeed getting stranger and stranger. I miss our afternoon monsoon rains which we should have been having almost daily since June. Instead, it takes a tropical storm or typhoon to bring us rains.

    Hmm. I'd never heard of nectar robbers before. Thank you for leading me to the carpenter bees. I gather that they are your culprits as well.

  20. Knoffelboegoe... what an evocative name!
    Posting on Kniphofia as well for Wildflower Wednesday, I determined to get to know them better. I have a delicate yellow one, still in its black bag and marked 'tender' flowering on my veranda. Our local one flowers fleetingly but typically - two weeks at most - in summer. The others I have are winter-flowerers -nbg, as my father would say: no blooody good in this climate. And of none am I certain of the name...

  21. Perennial - the new 'yellow' red hot poker blooms, the old red doesn't.

    Jack - mine are also unnamed.

    Bom and all - we HAVE rain, gentle and steady and soaking!

  22. Lovely flowers and lovely photos! The colors are so vivid...what a nice view in your garden.

  23. Beautiful blooms. I particularly like Red Hot Pokers as they remind me of my Grandmother. She always had them in her front garden. They never appeared again after she died.

  24. Many of the flowers posted here are new to me... fascinating indeed...

  25. Your flowers and collages are just gorgeous!

  26. Your winter garden looks a lot like ours in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the US. We have a Med climate too and a lot of your South African plants have been imported to grow here in our area. Even though you're half a world away, it's amazing to me how many of yours I find in my own garden in the winter months. It makes me yearn for the cooler months to come.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  27. It must be so nice to have flowers blooming in winter! Our climate is much too cold in winter, we get snow and ice instead. But right now, I'm enjoying my summer full of flowers!


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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