Sunday 4 October 2020



Clump of Creamy Clivias outside the Casa

I must sincerely apologise, Dear Reader, for the brisk pace taken in the last three posts. It was a foolish undertaking to entitle them with a reference to Winter, as I realised too late that the calendar was running down rapidly to October and High Spring, and needed to hustle them along. So with this in mind, a pause is in order, and we're going to just admire the Clivia miniatas that are in full flower around and about.

These tough little shade-lovers from South Africa are extremely popular again right now, having once faded from their red-hot popularity in this country in the late nineteenth century. There are clumps blooming all over the place now that the former lacklustre orange has been supplanted by creams and a reddish shade of orange with rather more oomph. Behold:

Plant enthusiast, Lady Clive, later Duchess of Northumberland,
Shortly before lending her name to Clivias in 1828

Image credits: 1-7: Flying With Hands; 8: National Portrait Gallery, London


  1. I like the portrait of Lady Clive, always interests me to know the history of plants. My friend has a big planting of clivias in her entry courtyard.

  2. I'm a hopeless flower gardener; I hadn't even heard of CLivias. They really are beautiful.

  3. I have a couple of pots of Clivias, but mine live indoors. I have had them for many years, and they never fail to bloom. The cream colour is new to me, but it is lovely.

  4. Terra: Hello and welcome to these pages! I should like to think that Lady Clive was destined to have a plant named after her as her mother, the Countess of Powis, was herself a great role model as an amateur botanist, too.

    Cro: Clivias are rather commonplace around these parts as they're pretty reliable massed in shady and difficult spots. Snails are probably their only issue.

    Rosemary: The creamy colours are just lovely, especially when they catch the light in the gloaming, and I'm glad that they're finally appearing more frequently. They were very expensive to buy when they were first cultivated, unlike the everyday orange.

  5. Love the photo looking through thee wrought iron gate!
    Beautiful blooms - I don't have any here!

  6. Mary: Thank you, the extensive gardens about this tantalising Gothic Revival mansion with battlements, no less, are off-limits! But street-stalking is still possible. I didn't think your climate would be conducive for flowering without a greenhouse?

    BK: Evet çok güzel!

  7. They are lovely. I like clumpy flowers.

  8. ToF: As do I. My artistry with, ahem, flower arranging does only extend as far as a clump of the same things in a vase, figuring as I do that I cannot improve upon nature, hahah!

  9. OH MY..........YOU AUSTRALIANS have FRANGIPANI and those South Africans have SOME BEAUTIES TOO!
    Terrific photography "LITTLE BAT LADY!"
    I would like to READ a POST about how PIPISTRELLO came to be YOUR CALL NAME HERE!!!


    OH.....> the ITALIANS would say and I know I spelled THAT ALL WRONG!!

    IS IT.........DAI....................I think it is YOU DO!??


  10. Contessa: My resident translator failed in this instance - "give it to me", perchance?? I shall get onto it anon. Thank you for the photographic compliment, it is entirely due to to the magic of a mere telephone ... and thousands of practice shots that went straight to the bin! xx


Thank you for commenting, it is greatly appreciated.

It can be a challenge to persist in the matching up of street signs and other exciting pastimes this comment feature may send your way, so if it gets too annoying, feel free to email your comment to me at pipistrello (at) flyingwithhands (dot) com and I'll post it for you.

Bats In The Belfry