Dogs swimming

A summer afternoon is  a great time for a swim, right? Right. And so, thinking of those of you battling through the cold of late winter, I hope these are cheering sights: late this afternoon on our walk the dogs decided to cool down, and I snapped away into the light whilst sitting on the bench under the pin-oak…

Family outing

Late summer is often a time for appraisal – how does my garden grow? We could do with more flowers. But the bones have done well. And the stalwarts have stalwarted. This spot is always a joy in late summer, the lush blue hydrangeas blending seamlessly with their quite natural neighbours.

Hydrangeas and Ouhout

Did I imply too few flowers? Thankless! The Evening Primroses first featured in a mid-November shot when I was busy marking papers. That is nearly three months of fortissimo flowers – if these soft yellows can be called loud. But subtle they aint!

Yellow & white

Sorry, what was that? Oh, the white flowers. Ah, yes, the white flowers. Pay no notice; they are illegal aliens. Designated thus by the greenies, who conveniently have overlooked some of the worst weeds on the planet, just because they are not showy, and have pounced on one of the great proofs that God exists, instructing us to ban them from our gardens and our meadows.

formosa lily

Formosa lilies they are called, Lilium formosanum. We proudly call them Haenertsburg lilies. Over the weekend I passed through a similar area 150km south of us, where they proudly call them by the name of their town. And yes, in a limited ecosphere, they have naturalised very happily, but they don’t spread into other climates. Unlike, for instance, cosmos, which grows in vast areas of the country and dies messily at the end of its pink-and-white season and falls all over everything it has pushed aside… perhaps the greenies feel that fight is beyond winning.  So they ban this lily, actively encouraging impoverished rural people to pick them and sell them by the roadside. But once their season is over, these people find other flowers to sell: precious indigenous treasures like arums – calla lilies (Zantedeschia sp), or ferns or… Oh enough. Slow down to a gallop. Admire an arum from your own gardens, a wilding of exquisite beauty…

Arum lily

In fact many of the flowers that catch my eye now are chance wildings, and I share some of them with you, briefly and without ID, for it is half an hour past my bedtime and I wish to post this before packing up.

Crocosmia panicles

crocosmia flowers


Blue flower

Blue detail

Red liliy

Whilst we’re on saturated colour – is anything more spectacular – or more self-consciously ‘designed’ (yes, nature may go for affectation) than the Scottish Thistle? I don’t find them often in my garden, but when I do I treasure them!

Scotch Thistle


Scotch Thistle 2

A last bit of saturated flower colour – ‘Rose de Rescht’ – followed by of the most saturated colour you will find in a leaf: assorted cannas.

Old fashioned red rose

Canna leaves

And so goodnight! I leave you with an early morning shot, the rising sun driving away the mists – an altogether more pastel colour scheme to bring you back to earth. Assume all pics watermarked as usual. I’m for bed!

Early mist


3 thoughts on “FEB IS OUR AUGUST

  1. You’re forcing me to ID, Diana! 🙂 Yes – it is Wahlenbergia undulata and is a garden-worthy self-seeder. In fact this one self-seeded into a flowerbed where it contributes year after year.

  2. August is the toughest part of the summer in my corner of the world, but we share the canna lily, which does just as well for me. The Formosa lily is lovely. I can’t imagine it being banned! Your gardens look lush and peaceful, especially with the cooling waters and the blue hydrangeas…idyllic!

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