24 July, 2013

Winter sun and Japanese flowering quince

In July, our garden greets us with an explosion of Japanese flowering quince. The inherited shrubs are halfway down our driveway and turn passing heads. Time to harvest cuttings for False Bay? September?

Japanese flowering quince

First the foreign flowers. The next ‘last rose of summer’ ahead of pruning which is now due, is Burning Sky. Working with colours and textures of foliage – bronze fennel sprouts against a backdrop of silver velvet from Dusty Miller.

Bronze fennel and Dusty Miller, lavender
Burning Sky rose, King Arthur slipper orchid

My Ifafa lilies sulked last year. Now I’ve dug them up and packed them in pots for moving – we haz flowers! Chasmanthe, meant to be buttery yellow as well, but the dominant orange sneaks thru as well. Dietes are ephemeral here today, and gone tomorrow, with buds in waiting.

Ifafa lily, orange Chasmanthe
, yellow Chasmanthe

Kniphofia does the strident primary red, yellow, and electric blue sky. A detail of the terracotta curls of pig's ears flowersLachenalia rubida planted as a tiny avenue along the path between the ash tree planters. My mother’s snowflakes, also respond with flowers to attention, and seasonal watering.

Kniphofia, Cotyledon orbiculata
snowflake, Lachenalia rubida

Our rain garden at Apple Creek was dense with reeds. I spent a few days as a ‘little hippo’ opening paths down to the water. Again we can see the sky reflected from the pools caught (on one day we had 38 mm rain).

Apple Creek rain garden

Both the original species Strelitzia regina in orange, and Mandela’s Gold in gentle yellow, are blooming. Heart-shaped leaves of Hibiscus tiliaceus. The wild jasmine is campaigning to twine in thru our bedroom window.

Mandela's Gold, orange Strelitzia regina, 
Hibiscus tiliaceus, wild jasmine

Crassula ovata, Pink Joy covered in flowers and I have volunteers to plant, somewhere. The second wave of aloes has huge candelabras of buds in waiting. Pelargoniums and Tecoma still in their winter party gowns.

Pink Joy, Aloe
Pelargonium, Tecoma
and Euryops

And daisies. Sunny yellow Euryops, 3 bushes full. Dandelions, leaves, flowers and seedheads each give architectural interest. Dimorphotheca jucunda in purple and white, with a ‘universe in a grain of sand’ tucked in their hearts.

Euryops, dandelion
Dimorphotheca jucunda in purple and white

Thanks to Wildflower Wednesday motivation from Gail at Clay and Limestone I have a record on my blog of what is BLOOMing in my garden each month. Today almost all my wildflowers are Proudly South African.

Pictures by Diana and Jurg,
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. Your garden never fails to delight me...as do the kitties.
    Jane x

  2. oh my goodness what luscious blooms!You have a paradise, I just love the names of your feline friends,

  3. Your garden is so vibrant, Diana. It must be hard leaving it behind, but less so as you are taking some of the garden with you. P x

  4. Your winter garden looks like my spring/summer garden. How nice! That 'King Arthur' Orchid is pretty special. And your kitties are sweet--my older cat sits in the sun every chance she gets!

  5. Almost all South African, beautiful, exotic flowers. But the Japanese flowering quince is a shrub we can grow here as well. One day I will find a space for it.

  6. Delightful! I love the Ifafa lilies and yellow Chasmanthe. The quince, of course, are stunning.

  7. I wouldn't know what most of the plants in my garden is called. Great to see all the colours.

    1. Beware ... one day you'll look around your garden, and every plant will have a name and a story to tell.

  8. The quince is a gorgeous flower -- reminds me of hollyhocks (Alcea). And I always covet your Sterlitzia. -Jean

  9. I'm like Denise, have been wanting the flowering quince, but can't make it work. I'm beginning to realize what a big thing moving a garden is.

  10. The quince is perfect. What an extraordinary range of flowers you grow.

  11. Wonderful grouping this month...that quince is gorgeous....mine just didn't like my garden so it was sent away. I am blown away by the many flowers going strong in your garden including the dandelion...they seem to be everywhere.

  12. Diana, your garden always looks amazing...your passion is an inspiration!

  13. My Pink Joy is looking resplendant as well... would love a King Arthur slipper though - simply stunning. You mentioned you now had a pair and spare... so I could possibly Cinderella my way to the ball - and if the shoe fits?? :-)

    1. Three flowers, LOTS of plants. Should probably be divided and repotted, but since it ain't broke, I ain't fixing it. The other slipper has NEVER flowered for me.

  14. Love these flowers.. Have a look at these you will also love it..blooming flowers


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Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

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