Outside our bedroom, festooning the evil green plastic rain water tank, I have a wild jasmine Jasminum angulare. For Gailforce at Clay and Limestone’s Wildflower Wednesday. The computer reveals a white crab/flower spider, front legs raised in an eager invitation to Lunch.
|White crab/flower spider on wild jasmine|
In the ‘shade’ beneath the ash, who are shedding leaves cooked by the summer sun, Mackaya bella blooms. Feeding a tiny bee. Plumbago flowers hitch a ride on cats and gardeners, sticky little hooks. Tiggers HATE Plumbago! My white pelargoniums stand hip and even shoulder high, keeling over, top heavy.
|Left Mackaya bella, |
Right plumbago and pelargonium
What lights the garden now are sparkling salmon Pelargonium flames. The really deep red has only a few scattered blooms. Nerine sarniensis, Jersey lily, but only because our bulb was shipwrecked there – has already faded that lonely flower.
|Salmon and red pelargoniums|
On the verandah the Streptocarpus sings on, while I remember to keep its saucer filled with water. Each independent leaf bears its own pair of flowers. Agapanthus from Christmas have faded away. Plumbago, blue sage and Plectranthus neochilus blaze on thru the summer heat. My Clerodendron ugandense is African, but would prefer more humidity.
|Streptocarpus, Plectranthus neochilus |
Plumbago, Agapanthus, Clerodendron
Aptenia cordifolia is an obliging groundcover, lush succulent leaves, many tiny pink/red fluffy flowers. (Heartleaf, Hearts and Flowers -- brakvygie will return for Valentine’s Day!) Phyllis van Heerden Ruttyruspolia also battles without summer rain. Sugar pink Pelargonium and the more enticing species with delicately marked petals.
|Aptenia, two pink pelargoniums|
Phyllis van Heerden Ruttyruspolia
A succulent pelargonium is careful not to waste its effort and water on OTT flowers. Planted for its fiery orange/red leaves a Crassula, with the J and D rocks we harvested in the Karoo on a distant wedding anniversary.
|Crassula, succulent pelargonium|
Aller guten Dinge sind drei. In German optimistic, in English plodding. Things come in threes. But also, third time lucky! The sedge has a triangular stem, and flowers are in triplicate. Bullrush peacefully taking over Apple Creek. At the end of summer we need to cut back, and rediscover some open water for the reed frogs to click over. Bulbinella in pots in blistering sun, or leaning over the path to trip up the unwary.
|Sedge, Bulbinella, bullrush|
My favourite grasses are the ones gifted by nature. The sedge growing in the pond or the creeks, where its feet reach water. The Briza quaking grass, we used to chew green as children. Tall golden wild oats (introduced = foreign!). And the spiky cousin who burrows thru our socks, clothes, inside our garden boots – and chews us up!
|Briza, sedge in Ungardening Pond, 'burrowing' grass|
I have an ongoing battle with my Swiss husband, who cannot bear to see a plant with leaves hanging. Water, water! Trying to convince him, it would be like going out into a Swiss garden with a hairdryer to defrost. Wish me luck!
In January 2010. A year ago. As catmint in Melbourne wrote of levels-of-garden – to see the garden that IS there, not the vision in my mind.
Pictures and words 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.)