Winter Senecio

The school term is over. Tomorrow we have 2 hours of classes and a final assembly – then holiday! One of the best things about teaching is 12 weeks of paid leave per year. I set off this afternoon late to see what there was to photograph by way of flowers in this mid-winter-week. I was heading towards the above plant on the far side of the garden.  I call it  the mid-winter Senecio, because I really haven’t got round to attempting a proper identification of this wild shrub. But I ended up taking the photo by flash as along the way I was side-tracked by so many other flowers to photograph…

Aloe saponaria

There was Aloe saponaria’s delightful flattened orange heads. Several were frosted in early June, but most survived unscathed, one of the few aloes which flowers successfully in our winter frosts.

Chaenomeles speciosa

There was chaenomeles speciosa, the Japanese Flowering Quince which always brightens our winters, and of which I have grown two hedges worth from seed – a fascinating exercise, and worth a post at some time.

Chaenomeles xsuperba 'Crimson and Gold ' perhaps Chaenomeles grown from seed

I think the plant on the left might be Chaenomeles x supurba ‘Crimson and Gold’  and the one on the right is one of my own seedlings.

Iris unguicularis

Iris unguicularis, the Algerian Iris, can always be relied on to provide an unexpected and  incongruously sunny splash of blue amongst the mess of its dying leaves.

Azalea hybrid Viburnum tinus

In spots where there is some frost protection there are azaleas in flower, and the Viburnum tinus hedges carry their clustered blooms.

Rudbeckia hirta

In the Anniversary Garden there are a few confused Rudbeckia hirta, looking remarkably fresh amongst the blackened seedcones and shrivelled petals of their elder siblings; and there are two roses that can always be relied on to still be in flower: ‘Iceberg’ is one of them, looking remarkably monochromatic in the gathering gloom.

Rosa 'Iceberg'

The other was bred in 1899:‘General Galieni’, with rather dishevelled blooms has  the curious effect of looking as though a red and white rose has been dipped in dark wax.

Rosa 'General Galieni'

And there are the last opportunistic Oxeye Daisies. And of course the camellias – those that have avoided the frost.

Oxeye Daisy Pale pink camellia

In fact there are whole bushes of camellias, and like family, one mostly notices their beauty rather than their blemishes. It was quite dark by the end of the walk when I flash-photographed this one next to the Sequoia avenue.

Pink camellia by flashlight

Earlier on the walk I had photographed this scene – a rather more up-beat note on which to end the post. Usually the weekly pic is just that: one pic. But it was quite thrilling to see how many flowers there were along my walk.

View across Makou Dam


6 thoughts on “WEEKLY PIC: JUNE11 WEEK4

  1. Great pics, as usual, Jack! I envy you the Algerian iris – I think they grow here, but I haven’t any room left; I’m already searching for sunnier spots for the iris that I DO have. As all the shrubs and small trees grow larger, they block more and more of the ground-level sunshine that the iris family need. As for camellias, they’re all over the place in other peoples’ gardens, but the only one I ever had died in its first winter (it was, admittedly, in a pot), and I’ve never tried any more of that clan. Check out my Mooseys diary – I’ve finally got the Hidden Garden pretty well where I want it!

  2. A whole HEDGE of Japanese quince must be something to experience. We have just one bush, and two bits. I recognise the saponaria, form Pam@digging, in Texas. Frost, that explains that. Do you also have the Senecio with the variegated leaf? One of those plants I love, buy, and kill …

    • Truth be told, Diana, as a hedge it is not much, as a collection of seed grown plants it is fascinating.Almost all are finally inferior, flowering under leaves, or not prolifically enough, or with spidery flowers. Yet I believe there is breeding potential, had I felt the yen to breed them… I’m not certain which Senecio you refer to, which I guess means I don’t have it, but there must be at least 5 types that grow wild on Sequoia

  3. Happy holidays, Jack! Don’t you love that delicious feeling of those 12 weeks spread out before you? It allows for leisurely walks through the garden, taking so many photos that, before you know it, it’s dark. 🙂 I am amazed by the number of flowers that bloom in winter there. Love the dazzling blue of that iris (especially because my own irises are near the end of their bloom).

    • Unfortunately this holiday is only 3 weeks long – and already I’m panicing about all I’m NOT going to get done, so I was up at 7am on a winter Sunday today to get going!

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