Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

A look around

I’m really tired of the cold weather. Where is Spring? It’s almost mid October and my barometer tells me its 10°C or 50°F (I’m not sure how accurate it is, but it sure feels that cold). Yesterday was a lovely sunny day (sunny but not warm) and I took a walk around the garden and was surprised at how much is looking pretty despite the weird weather. I’m loving the Lilies again this year and the Clivias are quite magnificent. They are flowering all over Cape Town and are a wonderful sight. Even mine are looking great. There’s lots of orange and yellow which makes a change from my usual white and pink colour scheme (which will follow on again in Summer).

I’ll take you on a tour and show you some pretty …

The Clivias are planted along the back wall under a deep shade of trees where they brighten up some of the darkest spaces when they flower. It’s a wonderful sight when you walk through around and spot a bright splash of orange tucked behind a tree, or in some places, they are grouped and flowering all together. I think this is the first year I’ve had such a great show from them – this being their third spring in my garden.

Here is a Clivia tucked away under lots of foliage plants

Clivia tucked in a corner

[one_half]A group of Clivias against a wallA group of Clivias against a wall[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Up close and personal with a CliviaUp close and personal with a Clivia[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The gorgeous Babianas are floweringThe gorgeous Babianas are flowering[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Tucked in between the flowering SalviasTucked in between the flowering Salvias[/one_half_last]

[one_half]In a pot outside my bedroomIn a pot outside my bedroom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Happy fish in their cleaned up homeHappy fish in their cleaned up home[/one_half_last]

[one_half]And the Lilies have started to flowerAnd the Lilies have started to flower[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Yellow, orange and white this yearYellow, orange and white this year[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Lilies bending to the sunLilies bending to the sun[/one_third]

[one_third]Star Jasmine growing up a treeStar Jasmine growing up a tree[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Lots of colour in the alleyLots of colour in the alley[/one_third_last]

[one_half]About to burst into bloomAbout to burst into bloom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]New planted petunias for summer colourNew planted petunias for summer colour[/one_half_last]

Aren’t the colours of the Crabapple magnificent? A day or two and the whole shrub will be flowering.

Happy gardening

30 Day Challenge Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

The 30 Day Challenge – Day 8

Today I am grateful for being able to grow beautiful flowers I can cut from the garden and bring into my home. I’ve always loved having fresh flowers in a vase in my home … maybe more than one vase full at a time. Now that I am growing beautiful flowers in my own garden, cutting flowers to bring inside is something I do all the time and it gives me great pleasure. For that I am grateful.

Asiatic Lily

Photo: Asiatic Lily. The Asiatic Lilies I planted this year as bulbs have given us immense pleasure. From pure white to pale and this bright pink (and a few stray yellows) they have been my most successful bulb planting, giving us pleasure and gorgeous colour in the garden for weeks on end. The soft pinks and some whites started to flower end August and now in mid November the Lilium Longifolium are still flowering beautifully. The best part is they will come back next year!

Lilium longiflorum, often called the Easter lily or November lily, is a plant native to the Ryukyu Islands (Japan) and Taiwan. It is a stem rooting lily, growing up to 1 m high. It bears a number of trumpet shaped, white, fragrant, and outward facing flowers.

About the 30 Day Challenge

Cat of The Whimsical Gardener, has invited Garden Bloggers the world over to join her in the 30 day challenge of posting a photograph and sentiment that you are thankful for – every day for 30 days. Find something you are thankful for every day, for 30 days, can’t be too difficult, can it? See all my posts filed under “30 Day Challenge“.

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels Trees

Loving the St Josephs Lilies

I love all the St Josephs Lilies I have flowering in the garden right now. My favourite bulb planting, the Asiatic and Longifolium Lilies have more than delivered and this little area of the garden is a mass of flowers. I had intended to cut these for indoor use but they look so stunning in the garden I can’t bring myself to to take the scissors to them. There are two Lilies that are as tall as I am, tucked behind the tree. It is as if they are growing taller so they can bend and curl around the tree and mix with the crowd in front. The result is a fabulous view of Lilies from all angles of the bed.

Of all the bulbs I planted, these are by far my favourites and I will expand on this collection next year. I’m pretty sure I didn’t order the yellow ones – I suspect they were in the “free” pack I was given, but I love the burst of yellow in and amongst all the white. I think it works rather well. And the foliage before and after blooms? not bad at all. I rather like the tall stems and the waxy rich green leaves. Planted in and around the Azaleas, it’s worked well as the Asiatic Lilies started blooming as the Azaleas finished their show, and the Longifolium Lilies started blooming as the Asiasitcs finished theirs. Works for me!

Isn’t Spring a wonderful thing?

[one_half]St Josephs Lilies[/one_half]

[one_half_last]St Josephs Lilies[/one_half_last]

[one_half]St Josephs Lilies[/one_half]

[one_half_last]St Josephs Lilies[/one_half_last]

[one_third]St Josephs Lilies[/one_third]

[one_third]St Josephs Lilies[/one_third]

[one_third_last]St Josephs Lilies[/one_third_last]

[one_half]St Josephs Lilies[/one_half]

[one_half_last]St Josephs Lilies[/one_half_last]

[one_half]St Josephs Lilies[/one_half]

[one_half_last]St Josephs Lilies[/one_half_last]

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Lily Love

What’s not to love about these lovely salmon pink Asiatic Lilies? They are easy to grow, thriving in a shaded position, putting on a splendid show now that the Azaleas having finished flowering. According to the books, Asiatic lilies are among the easiest to grow. They’re very hardy, need no staking, and are not particularly fussy about soil, as long as it drains well (although they do better if you add a good mulch and plant them in compost enriched soil).

Here are my newest Bloomers …

Salmon pink Asiatic Lily

[one_half]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_third]

[one_third]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_third_last]

Salmon pink Asiatic Lilies

See? Whats not to love?

Happy Gardening

Annuals Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

The first Asiatic Lily and other Joys of Spring

“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom” – Terri Guillemets

Plant, care, watch, wait, stand back and admire … repeat.

How immensely satisfying it is to plant a bulb, seed or seedling and watch it develop and finally bloom. Had I known all this 30 years ago I may well have made very different career choices in life. How I envy those who chose the road of Horticulture or gardening as their profession. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work, but oh my! I admit to loving my garden a whole lot more! What a Joy it is to step outside on a Spring morning and discover new blooms and fresh new shoots on plants. From bulbs that are blooming to plants specially selected for foliage … add some loving care, a good downpour and then a bit of sunshine and … Ta Da!!

And here we have today’s surprises …

[one_half]First Asiatic Lily in bloomAsiatic Lilies[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Freesias wherever you look…Wherever you look there are Freesias[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Ixias about to flowerIxias about to flower[/one_third]

[one_third]Sinfonietta Iris budSinfonietta Iris bud[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Lemon tree covered in budsLemon tree covered in buds[/one_third_last]

[one_third]Sigh, I love them … so prettySigh, I love them ... so pretty[/one_third]

[one_third]The first Lily in all her gloryThe Lily in all her glory[/one_third]

[one_third_last]All these colours on one plantAll these colours on one plant[/one_third_last]

Today the first of the +/- 80 Liliums I planted is blooming, and how gorgeous it looks. Of all the bulbs I planted I am finding the Liliums the most satisfying. All the bulbs have come up, some are standing 1.5m high and all are covered in buds. The Lilium Longiflorum (St Josephs Lilies) bulbs were planted towards the back of the bed and the slightly shorter Asiatics were planted slightly forward. The overall look of the bed is fabulous – even without the flowers.

The individual plants are strong and standing proudly upright (no staking required although I’ve read it is sometimes required) and I enjoy the shiny green foliage that has filled the bed and makes it look most promising. (I will do a post soon to show before and after photographs of this bed – It’s an amazing transformation – my absolute favourite right now).

Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labour, regardless of the season!

Happy Gardening

I’m linking this to Weekendflowers # 10! Click to visit!

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

I Heart Liliums ♥

Liliums are on at the top of my favourite cut-flower list! Liliums and Dutch Irises to be exact, but St Josephs Lilies are easier to purchase here. Every two weeks throughout winter I hotfoot it to Woolies and buy two bunches of St Josephs Lilies for the very large vase which lives on the table as you enter my home (via the back entrance). The flower filled vase is also in my direct line of sight whenever I glance up from the computer screen in my office. So now you understand just how much I love these Lilies. I want to see them all day long, and I do. And I smell them. They fill the entrance of my home with their lovely scent which can be a bit overpowering in winter if doors and windows are kept closed for too long.

Lilium - St Josephs Lilies

I love the huge vases filled with these beautiful flowers I regularly see in Home Decor magazines. Huge vases filled with these long stemmed white lilies – I love the green colour of the foliage, the way the flowers stand upright, the beautiful glossy petals … to me they are the perfect “architectural” blooms. One lily on its own in a long slender glass vase, 20 or more in a massive ceramic vase … always perfect. Always beautiful. And the cut Liliums I buy for my vase always last at least two weeks, sometimes more.

If I love them so much, why don’t I have them in my garden was the question I asked myself when I saw Hadeco were selling Lilium bulbs online. Because I didn’t know that they are easy to grow. I didn’t know you could just buy the bulbs, plant them in the right place and then sit back and enjoy their lovely blooms in a few months time. I thought anything this beautiful must be massively difficult to grow. Which is why I keep buying them as cut flowers. But having seen them for sale and reading that they are easy to grow – well it seems like a no-brainer that I should at least try.

So after much online research and finally convincing myself that I can do this and have a few “perfect places” for them, I took the plunge and ordered. Two days later they arrived in a box, 3 bulbs per pack of the varieties I bought and the kind people at Hadeco included 30 extra bulbs of Mixed Asiatic Lilies for free! I have no idea why I got the extras, but thank you Hadeco – I will plant and love them!

[one_half]Today’s Liliums in the vaseLilies in the vase[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A perfect bloom up closePerfect Bloom[/one_half_last]

[one_half]It doesn’t get much prettier than thisPerfect Bloom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Two are pretty togetherTwo pretty faces[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Beautiful leavesBeautiful Leaves[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Yes! I bought my ownLilium Bulbs[/one_half_last]

The Lilium bulbs I bought are:

  • Lilium Longiflorum – Snow Queen (I believe these are the type I always buy as cut flowers like the ones in the photographs above)
  • Lilium Asiatic – Soft Pink
  • Lilium Asiatic – Salmon
  • Lilium Asiatic – White
  • Lilium Asiatic – Mixed (the free ones)

I’ve spent the whole afternoon cleaning up and preparing the bed where I plan to plant my Lilium bulbs! Then it got dark and I had to stop for today. Wish me luck with these – I’m really excited about having them in the garden.

I’d love to hear from anyone that has Liliums growing in their garden – How do they grow for you?

Happy Gardening