15 November, 2011

Autumn Fire at Paradise and Roses

Tea in Paradise with Summer Gold to my right, and to my left (I'm sinister) Autumn Fire. When we built the house I wanted a walled rose garden, face brick to match the house. The most visible of the four beds (when you look out the window, step off the verandah, or walk down the path into Paradise and Roses), I'm grateful that it is the one among the four that works best!

Looking out the window at Autumn Fire

This bed was planted in September 2007.
 200820092010Autumn flush in May 2011.

Autumn Fire at Paradise and Roses
End of October, then November from the verandah
Down the path to reach out

For Autumn Fire I seek – burgundy or chocolate foliage. I love the impact of a tree with dark leaves among the green. The curved wall, behind which we drive or walk from the road, throws shadow year road. That calls for a foreign deciduous tree as the parasol. Prunus nigra (Canada! plum) bowing down under its cherry sized fruit.

Along the curve I have planted shrubs and trees, making the illusion of a fourth corner. Diospyros whyteana is a favourite tree. No berries so ours must be male. The leaves are a deep green and glossy. In the ebony family with persimmon, ours is found as far as Ethiopia. Halleria lucida tree fuchsia bears its orange tubular flowers on old wood. A tree related to snapdragons and foxgloves, Nemesia and Diascia. Nectar for sunbirds, berries and insects for the other birds. 

Diospyros whyteana, Halleria lucida

In the shade of these three and the wall is Mackaya bella forest bell bush. The only plant in its genus, endemic to the summer rainfall side of South Africa. Also tucked in that shadiest corner is the tuberous begonia.

Mackaya bella

I have a dark lavender, deadheaded since this picture was taken at the end of October.  Weight and heft from large dramatic leaves in a clump of Strelitzia, which has smuggled in an arum lily Zantedeschia.

Dark lavender, Prunus nigra
Japanese maple, Strelitzia regina

Beneath the pillow of self sown poppy is an orange leaved Crassula and there is a Kalanchoe with brick orange flowers coming into bloom now.  

Paradise and Roses. I wanted a striped rose in each bed, Burning Sky with two tone petals must fulfil my need for striped petals.

Burning Sky on a sunny day
and an overcast day

Alec’s Red produced a few huge flowers at the end of October and is busy building the next set of buds.

Alec's Red

Duftwolke kept going, now she has Bunches of flowers.


Karoo Rose has so many flowers, that Saturday’s rain bowed the wet bunches over. Because of the way nature arranges ‘florid bundle’ roses, so each has its designated place in the sun – one truss in a square vase is perfection.

Karoo Rose

And finally another rose with history. The French family which bred Peace at the end of World War Two. Deep red, velvety and fragrant, a Proper rose – I bring you Papa Meilland. 

Papa Meilland

For info about South African plants I go to PlantZAfrica.

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. Absolutely stunningly beautiful roses, Diana! I love the Duftwolke most of all :)

    Don't you find though, that watering your roses in summer consumes a lot of water. Have you heard of / considered Porous Pipe? Reckon it might just do the trick for you :)
    (info on my blog on how to obtain in SA - just search for porous pipe)

  2. Diana I was enticed to visit here by the word "Roses" in your post title. I was not disappointed... your roses are beautiful. You've designed a wonderful garden for them to thrive.

  3. what beautiful photos, its just a paradise ,, looks so good to these eyes of mine, we have snow!!

  4. Your piece of Paradise is gorgeous! I love the way the silvery foliage (artemesia?) sets off the darker leaves and rich red blooms of Autumn Fire in your second photo. And Burning Sky is stunning! I also am enchanted by the Mackaya bella. I wish I could grow that here.

  5. Diana I just love your roses and the Autumn fire against the chocolate foliage is stunning...that is a spectacular view!!

  6. What a waterfall of roses. Sooo beautiful Diana. What a gorgeous garden you have made. Really your own Paradise. I'm too short eyes, beautiful.
    Lovely greet Marja

  7. Diana, your garden is looking so vibrant, and the roses are spectacular! I love the "Burning sky".

    Your Mackaya bella blooms look ever so slightly "pink" tinged. Very pretty. Mine are still going, I hope they keep blooming for a while.

  8. Deb - that is my monster informal hedge of Dusty Miller.

    Dani - the roses each get 10 litres of grey water a week. 18 mm of rain last weekend means I get a week off. We would need a pump and a filter, and pipes halfway round the house if we were to use your soaker hose. Besides I like to hand water, I can give more, or less, as needed.

  9. How lovely, Diana ... your rose gardens especially stunning!

  10. Hi & thanks for visiting my blog! Just paying you a return visit - your blog is lovely! I love all those roses :) I've never been to Africa, maybe some day in the future, it looks beautiful!

  11. that burning sky rose is my favorite!

  12. Lots of roses to see this GBBD. You've created a gorgeous rose oasis!

  13. What a thought-provoking post! Yes, its interesting how many of the cultivated crops come from Europe. Hope you'll have a great harvest. I'm struggling with not enough chill hours for many apples here (and don't like G. Delicious). We'll see whether this winter will be cold enough...

    Happy bloom day!

  14. TownMouse - our apple trees are old tired inherited, and it is MUCH too hot here to grow apples.

  15. This is an enchanting area of your garden, thanks also for the explanation of how it fits into the garden. The bright light in the images is dazzling. Christina

  16. Your walled garden is stunning - what a sight to see from the windows! The burgundy foliage really does add drama - I think I need a Japanese maple in my own garden.

  17. I also love the contrast with dark leaves among the green. The walled garden looks wonderful, so traditional in Europe, but I wonder whether it's a rarity in Sth Africa?

  18. Catmint - my walled garden is inspired by English gardens. Many Cape Dutch houses have white walled rose or vegetable gardens. Then there was the Tuscan/Mediterranean trend for houses in South Africa. And it all began in a Persian garden called Paradise!

  19. I would never grow tired of walking through your garden - you have such an amazing collection of plants, always something flowering or interesting foliage catching attention. Beautiful!

  20. Garden girl - Success! Thank you.

  21. I take it your bubby doesn't bring bunches of roses home for you. He plants then instead.

  22. Ah, what joy Paradise and Roses must give you! Papa Meilland is one of the roses I planted in our 2nd garden as a boy. I loved more than all the other rich scented reds as a result, but have never planted it again... perhapsI should. Burning Sky I love! I once used it as a row of standards underplanted with Blue Moon alternating with Electron, picking up the two colours, all underplanted with blue Felicia daisies with variegated foliage. The most successful 'strip garden' I've ever done! mmm... Perhaps I should repeat it at Sequoia!


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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