15 November, 2013

Sun kissed at Paradise and Roses

by Diana Studer
- wildlife gardening in Porterville, near Cape Town in South Africa

Duftwolke has convinced my camera that its petals are burnished with gold leaf where the sun catches them.

The Story of Elephant’s Eye

Chapter 6
Paradise and Roses

While we waited in our rented house, he planned the new house and the Ungardening. I thought about plants, choosing roses, and companion plants but indigenous to South Africa not commonorgarden.

We began Paradise and Roses as a blank slate in 2007

Again standing at the step from the verandah
looking across Paradise and Roses today

We had a curved brick wall built, separating my Paradise in a Persian garden, from the driveway and garage. The tall slits allow the air movement during high summer’s brutal heat. A pillar for my father’s sundial focuses the four paths, four quarters. Winter Chill (silver leaves and pastel flowers). Spring Promise (pink flowers and glaucous blue leaves). Summer Gold (yellow and orange flowers with creamy leaves). Autumn Fire on the Dark Side (deep dark leaves and flowers). The garden focused across Ungardening Pond to the borrowed scenery of the mountain.

Beginning in 2007 with the view which inspired our garden

Today you can orient yourself by the left plum tree

Paradise and Roses with wide views shows where each rose was planted in its bed. I've learned as my ideas became garden, that some plants are more equal than others. The others have been steadily discarded and the more equal encouraged to shine.

Winter Chill
Great North
Pearl of Bedfordview

Winter Chill has Pearl of Bedfordview and the pillar rose Great North. Silvery camphor bush Tarchonanthus littoralis and blue sage Salvia chamelaeagnea are the structure. A slender Bauhinia natalensis with butterfly leaves, garlic buchu, Coleonema, Scabiosa and cotton lavender Santolina (whose fierce yellow buttons are offending my pastel scheme) fill in the gaps.

Spring Promise
Dainty Bess
Chaim Soutine (2011)

Spring Promise has single Dainty Bess and striped Chaim Soutine. My shade parasol is Dais cotonifolia, pompom tree; with honey flower Melianthus major, Artemisia afra and pink pelargonium forming the structure. Gaps filled in by blue Festuca glauca with Tulbaghia and Dianthus.

Summer Gold (2011)
Casanova, Tropical Sunset (with friends today)

Summer Gold has Tropical Sunset and a thoughtful Casanova. The satellite dish I battled to hide, has been removed! Trimeria rules here. Mandela’s Gold Strelitzia, Mare's tails (Mexican feather grass) and a huge clump of Dietes, striped and double striped Sansevieria build the structure. Plectranthus madagascariensis edged with ivory and Liriope fill in the last gaps.

Autumn Fire on the Dark Side
Papa Meilland (2011), Duftwolke
Burning Sky (2011)
Karoo Rose
Alec's Red

Autumn Fire has Papa Meilland, Karoo Rose, Burning Sky, Alec’s Red and Duftwolke – the happiest microclimate for the roses. Dark Prunus nigra Canada plum with a potted Japanese maple, dark glossy Diospyros whyteana, Halleria lucida tree fuchsia provide the structure. Mackaya bella forest bell bush, tuberous begonia, Strelitzia regina with a dark lavender and red pelargonium and an orange leaved Crassula close the gaps.

Pushed Out of Paradise
Perfume Passion (2011), Black Prince
Anna's Fuchsia
Anna's Apricot (2011), Anna's Red

We moved the roses inherited along the driveway to the entrance between the garage and the front door (December 2011). Black Prince with Anna’s Red, Fuchsia and Apricot joined by a new Perfume Passion rose. Looking back in amazement at when Pushed Out of Paradise was newly planted. All those hopeful tiddly scrappy little cuttings. Now shouldering me aside, as the harvested bits have filled a large garden over the intervening years.

Roses harvested ahead of the previous thunderstorm

Unless I've just pruned in July or August, or it is seriously hot – I can always find a few roses to pick.

Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studer
of Elephant's Eye

(To read or leave comments, 
either click the word Comments below, 
or click this post's title)


  1. its only in my dreams I could have roses for so many months of the year and they are so huge and lush! What a paradise you have created!

  2. A lovely, thoughtful garden, Diana. I love your before and after photos which really illustrate the differences you have made in a relatively short time.

  3. I can never get used to how quickly your garden has grown nor how long I've been following your blog. Jointly, they make for mega-speed growing.

  4. I love your brick walled garden and your roses are beautiful.


  5. So the ungardener doesn't have far to go if he wants to give you roses. Just a stroll around the garden. Or are you the only one allowed to pick them? They are beautiful. I can almost smell them.

    1. 'I never promised you a rose garden' but he did Ungarden one for me. Now we both enjoy sitting there and the flowers in the house.

  6. Roses all year round - now that is impressive! I am always amazed at the speed at which your garden grew. (I suppose mine would have grown fast if I hadn't moved the plants around so much)

    1. I moved a few, mostly they turned less equal.

  7. Great you show us the difference in only 6 years, it is always astonishing how quickly a garden grows. You have a beautiful rose garden with many roses well known to me. I am fond of your Dainty Bess which is a problem rose in my garden.

    1. My Dainty Bess is a fragile little flower, but she's hanging in there.

  8. Your garden matured so quickly, the climate makes so much difference. I was surprised just how quickly the garden here matured in comparison to my garden in England. Warm soil has a lot to do with it I believe, roots continue growing for more of the year and therefore support more top-growth.

    1. Sometimes, I envy Northern gardeners their down time to browse catalogues.

  9. Stunning pictures, So inspiring! WOW. Love your roses, I love South African spring when all the flowers blossom.
    Its so nice to see what you've done from past and present pictures.
    Lawrie (fellow South African) http://fireflyfarmadventures.blogspot.com/

  10. Diana, I love a story like this that shows so vividly the progress your garden has made and so quickly. I had to stop for a moment and realize....oh yes, this is your Spring! I don't know if you have heard that my city, Portland, Oregon is called The City of Roses. But we certainly don't have them all year 'round! We provide the test beds for roses in the States, but I see you have roses that are completely new to me. Really lovely. Thank you for showing so many of your flowers.

    1. Progress, the comment came thru, but not the Gravatar.

  11. Watching a garden grow and mature is always stunning - your roses are beautiful.
    Have a nice sunday!

  12. Enjoyed the walk around your gardens today. Thank you Diana!

  13. It is amazing how plants grow and how a garden changes from the beginning, but you maintained your vision with outstanding results!

  14. Your roses, so stunning....simply beautiful.

    I see the add this on your blog, I can't remember if I have it or not...will check.


    1. you do, I recognised it below your post when I was visiting

  15. Oh, all those incredible Roses! I'm jealous! Sigh. And I do so enjoy seeing the "beginnings" and "results" photos side by side. Lovely.

  16. It must be difficult for you to leave your beautiful rose garden, Diana. Can't wait to see your new one! P. x

  17. So many roses...I love the beginnings of your Paradise and Roses. Incredible paradise it has become.


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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