Saxon Holt is judging the GGW October contest. Gracious in explaining how to photograph, his enthusiasm bubbles thru, and his photos cause the flying fingers to linger, while the eyes enjoy. If not for this contest, I would have kept the post for some-corner-of-a-foreign-field 11-11-11-11.
He asks for the photo to tell a story. We inherited these swan-necked watsonias. The post and rail fence, the gravel tracks tell the Garden story. The green middelmannetjie and the grassy swathe next to the tracks tell of the Crazy English with their Weeds. That distant brown clump tells the Guilty, it has taken us four years to plant the last of the Dug Up for the Driveway Access clumps. But that picture doesn’t sing.
|Inherited watsonias along the driveway|
In our Paradise and Roses garden are four beds. Four rivers of Paradise, milk and honey, water and wine. Four seasons as colour themes. This is my high maintenance, water thru the pushing 40C summer temperatures garden. Deliberately sited here to be seen from the livingroom. I have taken this, thru the window.
|Autumn Fire in the|
Paradise and Roses garden
The distant corner bed is Autumn Fire. Red and purple roses. Deep dark foliage. My father’s sundial gazing away from – I only count your sunny hours. This was the vegetable patch behind our neighbour’s house. So, how gracious of Mother Nature to donate the flames of an exotic red poppy.
Sitting with my morning tea, gazing at the life story of this flower. The buds soft and furry, emerging meekly with their heavy heads bowed down. Growing taller and stronger, then raising proud heads on tall stems. Suddenly the flower opens. Within that promising bud, just four gossamer petals, which fall as the day passes. Most of that fat bud was the elaborate architecture of a seed capsule.
In the capsule are many many seeds. Turning my thoughts to the Global Invasive Species Programme and my own Paterson's Curse. Sadly we only fight invasive aliens when it hits our pocket. We clear water hyacinth because it blocks the flow of rivers. We clear Port Jackson wattle because it takes water we need for people, and is a fire hazard. We forget the broken links in the web of life.
Back in Paradise and Roses, the poppy has a few bees, but the scabious is a Disneyland cloud of butterflies. The Melianthus has a pair of sunbirds. Busy European starlings are serving lunch. Our apex predators are the owls we sometimes hear hooting at night. We have a visiting hawk or falcon, swooping silently past Spirulino’s bird feeder. Leaving me to find the discarded wings of the doves he has eaten.
|Poppy heart on fire|
Fill the frame. Tell the story. The stamens, with pollen, some already history, tell of the lifecycle. The sun and shadow on the petals swing my mind between the swirling skirts in sultry colours of a flamenco dancer. And the flickering leaping flames of a blazing log fire. Autumn Fire. Planned by the gardener, and gifted by nature.
with-the-Cape-Leopard-Trust-at-Driehoek shows you For Wildlife in South Africa.
by Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville,
near Cape Town in South Africa
(If you mouse over brown text,
it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.)