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.