Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

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!

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

On my Wish List – Crocosmia

Hi Barbie – The plant I was telling you about today that I couldn’t remember the name of is Crocosmia. If  you do a Google search for “Crocosmia” and then click on images you will see how gorgeous these flowers looks when planted in large groupings. They come in orange (Crocosmia “Aurea”) and red (Crocosmia “Lucifer”). I really love this indigenous flowering plant. It likes a shaded position so would really brighten up the shaded area at the back of my garden that is currently still a mess and crying for some attention …


[one_half_last]Crocosmia “Lucifer”Crocosmia Lucifer[/one_half_last]

Notes: Crocosmia is a genus in the Iridaceae family from tropical and eastern South Africa. It is well known because of its frequently cultivated hybrid between Crocosmia pottsii and Crocosmia aurea, Crocosmia × crosmiiflora. Plants have erect sword shaped leaved and spikes of tubular or funnel shaped orange to red flowers.

Crocosmias produce dense clumps of upright iris-like foliage. In midsummer this makes a good background for the small, profuse flowers. ‘Lucifer’ is an aptly-named variety because its flowers are the hottest coloured of all – a searing paprika red. The individual blooms are not as big as other crocosmias’, but small-flowered varieties such as this are the hardiest which makes them a wise choice in cold districts. Grown in a flower border, they provide structure and colour. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

I have to wait until after the 6th June when they come to sort out the trees at the back that are causing such dense deep shade that nothing is growing well there. After that, I will have to get cracking on doing something. At the moment I have a few Clivias there and the rest is all junk … left overs from the “Ivy garden” I inherited. I can’t wait …

[one_half]I love the strappy leavesCrocosmia[/one_half]

[one_half_last]More CrocosmiaCrocosmia[/one_half_last]

What do you think?

Happy Gardening