Friday, November 29, 2013

A day of flowers

I thought I'd better take some more pictures of the garden at No. 9 before The Big White Tent arrives today for my other's 80th birthday party, which will be on Sunday.

The Frenchman and I have been charged with its supervision, while my almost-80-year-old mother charges about town tying up loose party ends. I have tied up a leaning sapling,  de-limbed one five foot long delicious monster (Monstera deliciosa) stem and lopped a low plane tree branch in preparation for the passage of tent poles, tent and the swathes of white fabric that will line its interior. And Men. Of course.

In the meantime, here are indigenous Cotyledon orbiculata, at home with their European and Asian cottage garden neighbours.

Another indigene, Dietes iridioides, its clear-eyed peacock flowers ubiquitous in Cape Town, planted everywhere from supermarket parking lots to traffic medians.

Below, its close relative, Dietes bicolor.

Foxgloves and larkspurs outside our bedroom window.

And who doesn't love a zinnia?

The honeysuckle is confined to sprawling over a shrub at the bottom of the garden and its scent is delicious.

I can never remember the name of this annual. Anyone?

Post tent arrival, my instructions are to proceed to two flower farms within five minutes' drive - to cut long-stemmed roses at Chart Farm and to buy bunches of fresh flowers at Sillery Farm. I am in search of yellow, white, blue and gold. If I come back with hot pink I will be fired.

This tough day will end at La Colombe, the restaurant in the vineyards of Uitsig wine estate, for supper with Gail and Cecil, upcountry cousins who are treating my father, whose 81st birthday it is today.

I can think of worse ways to spend a Friday.


  1. Congrats on your mom's B-day! I think your unknown is a penstemon, aka beardtongue. I wonder if you'd like visiting the central coast of California, because all of the flowers you show grow very well here, too. I see them all the time in local gardens.

  2. What a paradise of flowers in your mother's lovely garden. And what a grand birthday party it will be. The book launch looked fun and glam too. Enjoy your stay "home", Marie. (And yeah, definitely a penstemon.)

  3. No need now for me to chime in on the flower id.
    Good wishes to you all as you celebrate.

  4. Congratulations to both of your parents! Their garden is truly an inspiration.

  5. Wow, such a gorgeous garden!! Thanks for sending some summer here to wintry Oregon. I think the flower whose name you forget is a Penstemon.


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