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An Autumn garden

My garden is in a sorry state … three days of continuous rain over the long weekend that interrupted my garden clean-up has left it looking untidy and ever so sad-looking. As I was busy with laying newly purchased compost and mulch the heavens opened up and it rained for three days solid. But in typical Cape Town fashion, as we got out our winter woolies and put extra blankets on beds, so the weather changed right back and the last two days have been too hot to do much gardening.

Today is looking good – not too hot, no wind, no rain (yet), but before I head out to continue my clean up, I took a few photos to show you what’s going on. And as I was taking these photos, I noticed something else – it’s not all white anymore! I have lots of pinks and blues and violets …


[one_half]Camellias have started their displayThe Camellias are starting their display[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Promise of lots to comePromise of lots to come[/one_half_last]

[one_half]A sweet pink daisyA sweet pink daisy[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Looking washed out after rainLooking washed out after rain[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Mexican Petunia keeps on givingMexican Petunia keeps on giving[/one_half]

[one_half_last]More pretty – Brachycombe daisiesBrachycombe daisies[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Barleria obtusa – Bush VioletBarleria obtusa - Bush Violet[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lots of blue and purpleLots of blue and purple[/one_half_last]

[one_half]First Azalea showing its faceFirst Azalea showing its face[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lots of lovely, fragrant LavenderLots of lovely, fragrant Lavender[/one_half_last]

Then there were a few surprises that popped up after the rains. The fading Hydrangea blooms are amazing to me. Spent but still beautiful I think I’ll leave these on the plants rather than cutting them off. I think they are lovely, I think I prefer them at this stage. Even the ones turning brown are lovely, it’s just a different type of lovely.

Tucked away in a very dark, hidden corner, we planted a few extra Clivias around this time last year (I already had quite a few and added to my collection). As I was cleaning, composting and mulching I noticed that the new additions have not just established themselves well, they are thriving and rewarding me with seeds.

And finally, I wrote about my intention to plant Crocosmia in the shade last year which I also did and forgot about. I planted them from bulbs and have been extremely underwhelmed by them – compared to the success I had with all the exotic bulbs I planted I fully expected this indigeneous bulb to do well. It has not really …. but it is still early days. Right now there are a few raggedy looking stalks and one single bloom – I’m not even sure I’m that mad about it anymore, but I will be patient. All the photographs of mass plantings of these can’t be wrong, they obviously just need more time to look impressive. But seeing the first bloom was exciting …

[one_half]Hydrangea bloomsHydrangea[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Clivia seedsClivia seeds[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Clivias have grown very wellClivias have grown very well[/one_half]

[one_half_last]First Crocosmia bloomsCrocosmia aurea[/one_half_last]

Oh, and the photos don’t really support my statement of a “sad looking garden”. Trust me, its sad. The lawn is in a bad way, there are lots of weeds (thanks rain!) and shrubs looking worse for wear after a three day downpour. Lots to do … a busy gardening weekend ahead.

Happy Gardening!

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

12 replies on “An Autumn garden”

Too right Christine, nothing sad looking about these fabulous blooms. Such a long time since we had Brachycombe, very much an annual plant here used in baskets. Imagine Clivia growing outdoors, one of Myras favourite house plants.

I know exactly how you feel. I had to spend the whole day cleaning!!!!! But, I feel great that I managed to do it all today! 🙂 I think our day outing together yesterday to has given me my mojo back! Thanks my friend!

Love the pink and blue – and I bet those colors really shows off the white blooms, too! And I love hydrangea blooms no matter the color – pink, blue, white or brown. 🙂

I agree about spent hydrangeas. I’m tempted to leave them too instead of dead-heading, but then I wonder if it will produce less buds next year.

I’m glad you admitted your photos don’t look sad, I was starting to wonder what your garden looks like when it’s not sad! You have some lovely shades of blues and lavender. As for Crocosmia, that plant volunteered in our first garden, probably a stray from a neighboring property. I liked its blade-like leaves, but it didn’t bloom for the first two years so I had no idea what this giant grass was in the garden! Five years later I was chasing this plant all over my garden beds! I expect once it’s gets established for you, it will probably do very well…hopefully not too well!

We had nice rain over the weekend, but just a one day soaking. This morning I finished weeks of cutting back reeds in Apple Creek. Ready for tomorrow’s rain (sorry Christine) and the clicking reed frogs. My roses are looking cross, but sprouting after the rain.

Hi Diana – yep, I just found out we have rain forecast tomorrow and I wanted to go to the Rare Plant Fair in Stellenbosch. And today its been stifling here – definitely a storm brewing and was far too hot for me outside (and animals all hiding indoors on the cool tiles in my office – too hot everywhere). Hopefully I can get out on Sunday to get some work done. My roses are looking ok … not great, but ok. Everything else looks even sadder this afternoon in the heat. *sigh*

I found an Artemesia Powiss Castle at the fair – very happy about that, I’ve been searching for one for ages!! Also got some new grasses from Fairholme – but the Iris guy wasn’t there this year, so that is all I got. I’ll show the grasses soon!

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