I’ve been looking at old photos of late for the posts I’m preparing on the Rosemary Borders. Along the way I found some of the Cottage Garden. Hmmm. It is very green this year. I like the look of it, but there are too few flowers in the mix. On the other hand it is never without flowers either!

In these views the  tall yellow verbascums and the Hydrangea  serrata dominate, but the eryngium (see detail below) and solidago also add colour. The dark Eucomis (Pineapple Lily) bottom left is starting to make a strong statement, but not many would say that it ‘adds colour’ and of course the zebra grass has tremendous presence.  The gauras are slow off the mark this year and the salvias are getting going…

Near the front door a pink Gaura and Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’ compliment each other beautifully. This is the first year of their co-habitation – and I have not the slightest idea if the combination is deliberate or not, so I shall claim that it is yet another sign of my gardening genius!

I’ve moved down onto the road below the house now, where the way the trees around the dam form a wall of green these days can clearly be seen.  Much of what is now super-green becomes super-bright by autumn. But I’ll keep you waiting till early April before I start that show 🙂 !

The above photograph illustrates the rather over the top inspiration for the Tulip Tree Avenue; when we first conceived it my dad jokingly suggested calling it the Avenida da LiberdadeMarques de Pombal after this impressive (and impressively named) avenue in Lisbon – the Marques having been the man responsible for rebuilding much of Lisbon after an earthquake in 1755. Our Avenue has developed into a very beautiful feature. The linear layout now melds happily with the organic paths through the arboritum, and the concept which we feared might jar is, if I may again modestly say, rather good.  These pics are specially for Deborah from Green Theatre, who I know will enjoy our avenue!

For the view of the Tulip Tree Avenue in the two pics above,  I’ve moved across the dam and a little downstream. There are  ten Liriodendron tulipifera  (Tulip) trees on either side of the avenue, which is around 70m long and 10 meters wide, stem to stem.  A path runs up either side of the avenue and between the path and the trees there is a planting of hydrangeas in a mix of blues and whites. Between the paths is a solid mass of azaleas, photos of which have featured in a previous post  .  Like so many of our trees, they were grown from seed by my father. The hydrangeas on the left (upper) side can be seen in the first photo and those on the right in the second one.

This last photo is chosen rather randomly from the walk. But since this is a rather random post, it seemed suitable. The hydrangeas are crying out for a post of their own, but this chance combination with a self-sown native, Crinum macowanii , the River Crinum, really caught my eye!



  1. You may get tired of hearing this, but it is so nice to see photos of gardens in the summer in the middle of our winter in the States. I am thinking of growing Pink Gaura this year. I haven’t had any for some time and your photos reminded me why I liked it so much. Thank you for taking us on such a beautiful summer walk.

  2. Hello Noelle! Ever since I made friends across the world at http://forums.mooseyscountrygarden.com/ I’v realised that being counter-seasonal to most gardeners gives me an unfair advantage, and I deliberately exploit it…;) I now grow about 6 gauras, but my favourite remains the tall white one, which I think is the species.

  3. I keep wondering, when you refer to Tulip tree, do you mean Tulip Poplar? Or is this another kind of tree (flowering)?
    Your beautiful alleys, Vita would approve!

    • Jim, I see the Tulip Tree is also known as the Yellow Poplar, so it might well be. It s not a poplar, but the leaves move in much the same way in the breeze. The leaf shape is distinctive: imagine a five fingered maple, with the middle finger removed in a slightly indented, almost straight line. Quite unique!

    • At one stage I thought to find out what ‘Shades of Green’ would be in the local vernacular and call my farm that… You’ve made me check, having recently acquired an English-Sepedi dictionary: “Mebalabala ya Botala – Many colours of green.” Hmmm… I’m tempted. Will definitely make a note of it!

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