Altho I do garden for wildlife, it is not as a trained ecologist, this plant for that butterfly. We have a pond full of frogs for the visiting kingfisher. We have a smorgasbord of assorted bugs for the fiscal flycatcher. But the regular residents who delight me are the sunbirds. (Our equivalent to North America’s humming-birds). I think of red or yellow flowers, whose trumpets are filled with nectar. This Wildflower Wednesday post will be my place to record which garden flowers I see sunbirds on each month. And a nudge to find plants to fill the gaps in the diary!
|Yellow Bietou, pond bulbs|
fiscal flycatcher, salmon pelargonium
Chrysanthemoides monilifera or bietou, bush tick berry named for the shiny black seeds – is a daisy ‘tree’ planted by birds. Salmon pelargoniums are enjoying autumn days. As I continue to clear Apple Creek of overgrown reeds, I find pots from when we had to empty the pond. Tip out the soil, and I found these bulbs. No idea at all what they might be. So they are now replanted and labelled ‘Pond bulbs’. This morning the fiscal flycatcher was perched on the bench and circling out to collect his lunch.
|Flowers for our sunbirds in March|
Yellow Tecomaria, tree aloe
blue sage, Kniphofia
The March flowers that attract our sunbirds are the blue sage, Kniphofia red hot poker, tree aloe, and the yellow Tecomaria has begun to flower.
Our little malachite kingfisher has returned. He likes to perch in the pair of witkaree hidden in the leaves, and waiting for a hapless frog to volunteer.
|White Plumbago, Sansevieria|
pelargonium, wild jasmine
White pelargonium and Plumbago. Wonderful fragrance from our wild jasmine. Weird, and fragrant flowers on the Sansevieria (Mother-in-law’s tongue).
|March lily, blue Plumbago|
Just one March lily is already flowering, but the burgundy stalks are arching up with buds fat and ready. There are blue Plumbago and pink pelargoniums.
Dimorphotheca jucunda and Streptocarpus
Purple Dimorphotheca jucunda is blooming ahead of the pink and white and yellow. Streptocarpus enjoys her privilege of shade on the verandah. We have olives ready to harvest on the two trees planted in November 2007. These are Lecchino, not our wild olives!
|At Apple Creek|
Finally this is what I am doing. Grateful that I wasn’t looking at this bigger picture when I started at the beginning of the month. Most days, a couple of hours, a few buckets of reeds and wild grass cut back, and spread around the fig trees as mulch. M’sieur Chocolat the Undergardener enjoys stretching out on his hand-clipped rough lawn. The Juncus, bull rush, tall Cyperus and dwarf Papyrus we planted. Nature’s gifts are both the fine running grass (the ‘lawn’) and the long tall Sally which has seedheads now.
Please do excuse me, the garden calls!
Pictures by Jurg and Diana,
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.)