31 May, 2013

Flower year in our Porterville garden

A map with the mediterranean areas of the world is now on my sidebar. That’s deliberately small m mediterranean. Quite implausible how widely scattered we are, and yet each scatter is sharply focused. Chile, California, Australian coast, the namesake Mediterranean Basin, and we are way down in the bottom corner of Africa. 

March lily 2010, with his Panasonic Lumix

The Story of Elephant’s Eye

Chapter 3
Flower Year in our Garden

Moving IN May 2007, six years ago

Six years ago, May 2007, we moved into our newly built house, after a year of Ungardening preparation. No curtains, boxes everywhere, empty bookshelves, quiet chaos, and flowers from our builder. Today the guide for the one day new owners of Elephant’s Eye unfolds with a picture a month. An invitation to click away for more – flowers, colour, plants, info. Wonder what that is? Let’s see what she wrote in the June garden posts.

2013 Tecoma capensis

I start in March, as our garden does. When the March lilies yell – thank goodness that brutal summer heat is over. Then we roll into April’s autumn shrubs, Tecoma capensis delighting the sunbirds. In May we have happy pelargoniums and daisies. Winter arrives in June – cool and green a carpet of Oxalis.  The Japanese quince explodes in a fountain of July colour for mid-winter and snow on the mountains. By August we are thinking of spring flowers, daisies and Namaqualand, vlei lilies and freesias. Veltheimia capensis and blossom on the fruit trees in September, as we return to warm. The roses enjoy October with the apple trees. Dietes wild iris and Plectranthus (his ‘lavender’) in November. For our summer Christmas in December there are AgapanthusJanuary means many plants hunker down for the duration, but the pelargoniums bloom on regardless. By February we, plants and people, are looking to March coolth and autumn’s first rain – Plumbago and Bulbine spread colour.

2011 pink pelargonium

Chapter 2 was Well earned Names

2011 Oxalis with guinea fowl feather

2011 Japanese flowering quince

Garden Year tab gathers together the flowers from our garden month by month. We always have flowers, tho the garden rests quietly in high summer. Every 2 to 4 weeks, I walk the garden using the camera to see it thru your fresh eyes. I’ve never done a formal log of ‘everything in bloom’, but prefer what I imagine would catch your eye. From the Northern hemisphere, our June early winter, your December.

2009 selfsown gousblom

2010 Prunus nigra

My mind is on the cycle of life

The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on
- [and nothing you do can change a word of it]

2010 Courvoisier rose

2012 Plectranthus neochilus

A flower for each month. Some showing a glimpse of wide view garden. I’ve trawled my archives, and carefully avoided the collages for this post. Some a detail, because that is what my mind sees.

2011 Agapanthus

On my blog, up top are tabs. Weather in Porterville. We share the mediterranean climate forecast for Cape Town, but, our weather?! We live at the foot of mountains which can be snow-capped in winter = colder, inland from the moderating influence of the sea = hotter or colder. Beyond the reach of summer’s prevailing howling southeaster. Not as extreme as Worcester in the Klein Karoo.

2010 rose pelargonium

2013 Royal Cape Plumbago

Pictures and text by Diana Studer
AKA 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 really hope the new owners appreciate the garden as much as you do and put in as much love into looking after it.

  2. It's wonderful when you go back and see how your plants have grown, and your garden developed over time. It's one of the best things about blogging for me. The Oxalis flower looks very much like my Portulaca flowers, are they related?

    1. My South African What Flower is That book, puts Oxalis and Portulaca each into a family of their own. Oxalis has a tiny tuber, and is a nightmare invasive alien in California, but welcome green in winter for my garden.

    2. I can't make up mind about oxalis. It certainly knows how to fill an empty space, but I wonder if the tubers underneath stop other plants growing. The tubers of mine snap when you pull them, so it's difficult to remove them completely.

    3. I'm grateful not to be a Californian battling an invasive alien (she went after hers with a blowtorch, and it came back). In my garden it is an unbroken carpet of green, where I haven't planted something else. Where I have planted, the little bulbs are invisible, biding their time.

  3. Beautiful Diane! Having been to Australia I now feel even more envious of your wonderful climate.....next stop will have to be SA:~))

  4. Such a lovely tour of the flowers as you remind us all of your lovely garden....I too hope the new owners will welcome the gardens and take good care of them....

  5. I like that little map in the sidebar! And your flower year -- very nice to review. I was wandering with my camera yesterday and taking pictures (and seeds) and noticed our agapanthus in bloom - a leftover from the prior residents here - I took out a lot when redoing the garden, but this one somehow survived and I really like it. And it makes a nice backdrop to the swelling mass of magenta clarkia blooms in my photo!

    1. I have garden blogs from the Mediterranean, California and Australia, but haven't found any from Chile yet. Happy to machine translate from Spanish. Anyone?

    2. I've recently discovered that wine from Chile is very good - maybe the Mediteranean connection helps.

    3. Mediterranean climate equals vineyards and olives and citrus orchards.

  6. Your new owners are fortunate to inherit your lovely garden! You have so many memories there. I wish you the best in making new memories in your False Bay home!

  7. I'm not sure I could part with my current garden. I've left others behind but have tended this one for 10 years, which is longer than I've ever lived any where. I hope the new owners love your garden as much as you do. :o)

  8. hi Diana, I laughed at the use of the quote from OK. It is very pertinent to a garden blogger moving on, although I don't suppose when OK wrote it he anticipated this context! Interesting to think about how although we do share a Mediterean climate, there are still widely differing micro climates. I like the way Deb expressed it - good luck in making new memories in your FB home.

  9. As you leave, your gardens will become a beautiful legacy for others to enjoy... although not nearly as much as you have. You have placed your heart and soul into those gardens. But sweet will be the experience of beginning anew. Change can be wonderful.

  10. I love all the pictures in this post Diana. As for your mentioning all the different feed readers, you reminded me to check Bloglovin. I have one follower. Me!! I tried it out and decided it was not for me and am sort of getting used to Feedly, although I am still unable to unsubscribe from old blogs I no longer follow. At least it no longer annoys me so much!

  11. Diana, Thanks for the map! I was surprised by how small the area of mediterranean climate is; it seems to loom much larger in the gardening world. -Jean

    1. The garden's interpretation of 'dynamite comes in small packages!'

  12. Ack! You're moving? I've been away from the internet too long. How lucky the new owners will be to be able to enjoy your garden, pond and views. Good luck on your move!

  13. Having left a much loved and appreciated garden many years ago, I know it can be a hard thing to do. When I moved from my last home to this home, I never thought I would love the garden as much as my previous one, but things change and we move on. I now can't imagine leaving this place!

    I hope the new owners appreciate your old garden and look after it.


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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