The roses are lovely, in our garden, in vases in our house, and scattered across the Cape Town family – but today I turn to South African glory for Wildflower Wednesday. Roughly sorted by colour, from purple, thru red and yellow, to green. First choice is the citrus-scented Pelargonium citronellum, toothed leaves are always attractive (and smell yummy), when in bloom the flowers are delicately ornate.
You need to dip down to see the architectural details of Pelargonium neochilus, and catch the funky smell of muishondblaar. The luminous mauve vygie has gone to seed, but in its time it was striking! The scabious (whose name my sister hates, but it was once used as cure for scabies) are waving lilac hands.
A volunteer in with the potted Ficus benjamina is this little electric pink Oxalis. The inherited watsonias are emerging in shades of pink, and some have graceful arched swan-necks. Veltheimia come forward, now that I’ve weeded out a substantial chunk of Chasmanthe (a little TOO much of a good thing). Wild iris Dietes brings a succession of fleeting flowers, as day-lilies do.
Among my varied pelargoniums are tiny flowers on the mint pelargonium (growing in the shade) and this, the nutmeg pelargonium with its kidney-shaped leaves.
Halleria lucida was planted for the birds. It’s a curious plant that I forget to photograph as the flowers are borne on old wood, hidden away far beneath the leaves. There too the green berries form, and I see birds hopping about, inside the tree.
Poised eagerly on the table of a yellow Euryops flower is a yellow crab-spider. Of three fancy varieties of Gazania I planted, only the cream ones continue. Hypoxis, the African potato used as a treatment for HIV/AIDS, has yellow star-shaped flowers, and leaves in three ranks. Needs more space to display those leaves. Succulent Bulbinella blooms in tangerine, and in yellow.
The delicate little flowers are hard for the camera to see, but the human eye absorbs the display. Buddleja has white flowers, but the unfortunate dried mustard yellow eye makes the flowers look drab en masse. But it smells, delectable, of honey and joy. Tiny white flowers on Coleonema – the plant fisherman use to cleanse the pong from their working hands. Little pink balls on Erica baccans, the berry heath, my solitary fynbos survivor.
Muting gently down to texture, browns and greens. Twirled barley sugar twists of the flowers in the olifantsriet Restio. Tarchonanthus arms framing the Canadian Prunus nigra. Melianthus is currently offering glaucous blue-green leaves and huge sculptural seeds for me, with flowers filled with black nectar for our birds who call Elephant’s Eye home.
Time out. I’ll take my tea to that little blue bench at Rest and Be Thankful. Gaze across the flowers, listen to the bird conversations, and appreciate the shade on one of our first – warning uncomfortable weather days at 28C 82F (the weatherman threatened 31C 88F).
Pictures and words by Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville,(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink.
near Cape Town in South Africa
near Cape Town in South Africa
Those are my links.)