Yesterday I harvested this month’s native / indigenous / wild flowers for Gail's meme. Our weather forecast for Malmesbury includes a white slab with irregular edge. Frost pockets. They also promise snow on our mountains. We almost had a Western Cape Easter with snow. Carolyn - our snowdrops should feel more comfortable – if they didn’t get cooked to death in the summer.
Having spent the summer with red wrinkled autumnal leaves – the Bulbinella is returning to flowers. Tiding my ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon’ bulb collection thru the We’re greening and the flowers are coming stage.
Dimorphotheca jucunda, Hypoxis
The lime yellow Oxalis pes-caprae is unusual for being knee high and vigorous. Most Oxalis are a naturalise-in-the-lawn height. Tiny bulbs easily lost in the garden. My pink ones from Kirstenbosch stay in pots. This year, seeing how you nurture our bulbs, I have been kindly watering them once a week since autumn. (The overhang blocks the rain). Tulbaghia is in my blue and purple border. Hypoxis with its unique three ranks of leaves. Purple Dimorphotheca jucunda manages a few flowers all year round, while the pink, white and yellow are still feeling thoughtful. Cuttings to the purple border, again.
|Crassula, Aloe sp.|
Cotyledon orbiculata, Aloe ciliaris
The tree aloe (as in climbing) is the first to actually flower. The red leaved Crassula, pig's ears and aloes have buds, which lengthen and turn colour as you watch.
To my eyes Pelargonium and Plumbago petals look equally fragile. But while the Pelargoniums dance in the rain, the Plumbago looks dishevelled, sodden, and I found just a single flower open.
|Blue sage, Plumbago|
Phyllis van Heerden, olives
We have white, and sky and Royal Cape blue Plumbago. But they were not inclined to be photographed. The blue sage is looking battered and in need of cutting back (WHEN?) Phyllis van Heerden survived the summer and the Ungardener’s grumbling watering (another summer rainfall plant?) Judging by the nibbles in the olives, they would be ripe and ready to harvest.
|Jasmine, Plectranthus madagascariensis|
jasmine berry, knoffel buchu
The jasmine is growing with abandon, who knew it made large black berries. The clematis is sulking. White spires on Plectranthus madagascariensis look imposing, but only if you get down to their level. Tiny puffball on the knoffel buchu. Planted with the white roses, if you brush against it, you move away in an aromatic cloud of garlic.
Read that the hummingbirds have a Latin name = haven’t got a leg to stand on. Our sunbirds will hover – do we HAVE to?! But the nectar they feed on, is from plants with strong enough stems to perch nearby. Aloes in winter, Tecomaria now.
|Mandela's Gold, Strelitzia regina|
Mandela’s Gold is bringing us a succession of flowers. The original species Strelitzia, with orange and blue flowers is making its first flowers (thanks to my sister B).
|Bietou, Chrysanthemoides monilifera|
with 'common hairtail' butterfly
There is something implausible, unlikely – a daisy that makes large berries. Still green, but they will turn black. This bietou Chrysanthemoides monilifera was planted by the birds.
words by Diana of Elephant's Eye
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