I got home this afternoon and scooted around the garden taking close-ups as the weather closed in.

What got me going was the realisation that for the first time ever I have a clematis (other than the basic white C. montana) flowering for the second year! Usually ‘twigs mark the spot’!

Nearby what I call the Floating Irises were in bloom. Like so many flowers where the bloom lasts one day only, they all flower together. Who says plants don’t communicate?

Before dashing off to catch something interesting in the Long Border near the entrance, I photograph the evergreen dogwood, Cornus capitata, against the garage.

The Matilija Poppy, Romneya coulteri, is in flower – I thought I had lost it! I don’t remember it flowering last year, but today I found several stems ( they tend to wander away from where one has planted them) and two gorgeous flowers. They are, as far as I know, the only ones in South Africa. I imported the seed after admiring them at Jenkyns Place in the UK.

Near the Romneya is a stand of white Dieramas. I have the monograph on the genus Dierama, but I’ve never identified my white plants positively. The original plant was given to me by a very dear friend and in this, the year of my Rotary presidency, she is my club secretary; much has happened since first she gave it to me with the stern admonishment that it  was a very special plant, one she wouldn’t give to just anybody. One of the great compliments and declarations of friendship in my life! It is, I often think, a plant of even greater beauty and grace than even my most beautiful roses.

Much less unique, in fact quite weedy, but one of the most cheerful sights imaginable, is the mixed stands of coreopsis and ox-eyed daisies that dominate much of the garden at the moment.

Hypericum or St Johns Wort is another cheerful and unaffected flower. This is one of the garden varieties, but we have two species that grow wild on Sequoia. One has flowers that are almost as lovely, but on a stocky and untidy shrub compared to the neat softness of the garden variety. The other is a  miniature shrublet with a fleeting season. Its yellow flowers, clearly hypericum, are the size of a thumb nail.

I’m delighted with this shot of a santolini in bloom. I thought as I took it, all I’ll get is fuzzy yellow balls – instead there is much more detail than I’ve ever been aware of… tomorrow I’ll go take a closer look!

Lastly a few roses: Rosa chinensis mutabilis is a species rose and a wonderful shrub, about which I WILL still write! This is a particularly lovely example of an open bloom.

‘Cornelia’ is another of the Hybrid Musk roses I am so fond of. It was introduced in 1925 by the most famous breeder of Hybrid Musks, Joseph Pemberton.

Lastly a super-macro of ‘Mermaid’, the beautiful single yellow climber introduced in 1918. They say it takes years to establish itself and soon thereafter you wish it would slow down! This, the fifth year, is the first my ‘Mermaid’ is really performing well. It grows into a beefwood tree at the bottom end of the Long Border.


12 thoughts on “QUICK CLOSE-UPS

  1. Hi, Your flowers are wonderful. I can vouch for R. c. ‘Mutabilis.’ I used to drive by a neighbor’s two large plants, lusting. One day I finally got the nerve to knock on the door and ask [beg] for a few cuttings. She was most obliging. Out of the six cuttings, one survived and has thrived. I love it.

    How flattering that your friend entrusted you with such a delightful Dierama. [I’ve got the purple and it’s nice but the white really is sublime.]

    • One of the things I love about many of the old roses, Grace, is that many not only strike from cuttings, but also form vigourous bushes from them. As for Dierama – it might just become the first genus that I conciously collect… watch this space!

    • Hi Tatyana! In that first garden I saw it, most were flowering on the opposite side of the hedge from where they’d been planted… a short season, but an utterly charming flower, and no trouble once you’ve got them.

    • Hello and welcome! It is Cornus capitata and makes a graceful small tree, quite evergreen, with typical ‘strawberry’ fruit much loved by the birds.

  2. Beautiful photography. Cornelia is one of my favorites. I would love to see a full bush (climber) photo and see how you grow her in your magnificent setting. Mermaid scares me. She is a BIG and thorny girl.

    • Hi Jim, and great to welcome you to my site! Cornelia is in her third season, rather dumped and left to get on with it in a bed with other robust roses and large shrubs. Last year she was neglected and sulked a little, so she is still in many ways a young plant. I intend to let her throw herself about a bit once she gets over her shyness. I’ve given up on tying down most roses. I don’t have the time, and the dear old man who used to do it for me either made them look like Victorian matrons or bondage queens. As for Mermaid… I hope she grows to fill the whole tree!

    • Noelle, one of the greatest things to me about garden blogging is that I am counter-seasonal to most bloggers. It gives me an unfair advantage :)!!

  3. I always feel jealous visiting your blog because yours is very different climate than mine and i love alpine flowers. take clematis for example, it does not survive our summers but i love the pic you posted. white poppy is surely a new thing to me. other blooms are so cute specially Cornelia. thanks for sharing these pretty blooms.

    • Hello Muhammad and thank you for coming in for a chat. I think one of the wonderful things about blogging is that we get to experience gardens in very different settings, climates and seasons from our own. It is my pleasure to share my garden with you!

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