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To my amusement a google image search of the above title – in Afrikaans as “Studie in Blou” – led me first to my own blog post from 2012. But so ingrained in me is the image of Pierneef’s painting by this name, that I had to link it to today’s post…

A field of irises

A strange iris, that seems to form its flowers from the leaves, is suddenly in flower. They tend to do this – nothing for weeks, and then a flood together, as though they have discussed it in advance.

Iris detail

Blogging about it has forced me to identify it – and the miracle of google (“blue iris flowers on leaves”) led me in no time to Neomarica caerulea  – the blue Walking Iris; it is described as a subtropical species from Paraguay and Brazil. However Davesgarden contains several comments from people who attest to its hardiness – and that indeed is a necessity here, for it flowers in a cold area near the water with regular heavy frosts on winter nights.

Iris closer detail 21

It is one of the most spectacular flowers in our garden…

But a Study in Green is fast becoming a more typical description for the gardens at Sequoia.  After a dry November, we have measured over 130mm in December, with half the days to date recording over 10mm. When this morning dawned sunny I was there with my camera, capturing the weight of green on the thankful trees, shrubs and lawn. The morning mist rising off the water delineates the layers of planting and accentuate my father’s avenue of Sequoias at the top of the arboretum – not to mention the impressive gums which already towered over the felled pine forest when the rest of the hill was but a dream back in 1997.

High summer dawn