HOME AGAIN

We are home to early summer peace and perfection, feeling almost guilty as we sit glued to CNN watching Superstorm Sandy wipe-out the disaster-movie genre along with much much else. Our thoughts are with all who are affected.

Pale  diaramas Japanese maple leaves

My first two pictures are dedicated to my cousin, our hostess in Johannesburg. She will know why. We spent wonderful hours with her in her magnificent garden. (She also offered us a bed and a bath.) On the left pale pink seed-grown diaramas in the new garden outside The Plett, beginning to look really lovely; on the right fresh red-green Japanese maple leaves.

Pale pink diarama

Here again are the ethereal diarama, a native of our own grasslands with grass-like growth; even the flower-stalks are grass-like until they surprise one with their lovely flowers. Aptly known as hairbells, wandflowers or  angels’ fishing rods, they are bulbous plants of the family Iridaceae and were originally classified by Linnaeus himself in the genus Ixia before being moved  to Sparaxis and eventually to their own genus of Diarama. I was given a rare white diarama by a friend  which I later divided and I had bought several pink plants. One year I harvested seed from a mixed planting, concentrating on the white plants. I now have a range of white to pink plants. They are all forms of D.insigne … I think… Despite owning the comprehensive tome on the genus, they are so similar that only extensive study can make me certain of this.

Aqaulegia Nelly Moser descendant 4

Aqualegia ‘Nora Barlow’ came into my garden via a packet of Thompson & Morgan seed in the mid 90s. She left soon after, but not before raising some degenerate offspring. Corsets have replaced crinolines and I love the look.

Aqaulegia Nora Barlow  descendant 2

Change of tack: off late I’ve mentioned ‘rain’ and ‘green’. Here are reminders I found on my walk after returning from Johannesburg – a huge mushroom and a lovely late afternoon view down Oak Avenue.

Mushroom

Oak Avenue

The House that Jack Built was looking rather good, with the musk rose ‘Penelope’ finding sympathetic support from erigeron and clematis – and some lovely groundcover shrubs.

THtJB Cottage Garden

Having recently shared two views in one post of THtJB from across the water, here is yet another. I could not resist it.

The House that Jack Built

But I think a few pretty flowers should end this post – a rhododendron with white flowers opening from pink buds. Rhododendrons are scarce in South Africa, and as far as I know always seed-raised.

pale rhododendron 2

pale rhododendron 4

pale rhododendron 5

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